What are some of the signs and symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma?
Signs and symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma depend on where the soft tissue cancer develops. If the tumor is in the eye, the lids may swell or droop and the eye may bulge outward. When the tumor is in the head or neck region (the most common place for rhabdo to form), the nerves may be affected. Some signs of this are earaches, headaches, slurred speech, a visible mass or bulge, facial weakness, vomiting and double vision (diplopia). If the tumor is in the legs or arms, the children assume that the lump they feel is from bumping their leg or arm. Tumors in the retroperitoneum (behind the organs in the abdomen) may not have visible symptoms. The child may complain of abdominal pain or have bowel obstruction. The most common sign of vaginal rhabdomyosarcomas is abnormal vaginal bleeding and a protruding mass. Pain does not usually occur until the tumor is far advanced and may get in the way of bladder or bowel function.