What is Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma?
Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare and aggressive form of soft tissue cancer. It’s part of the rhabdomyosarcoma family, cancers that develop from skeletal muscle cells. Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma is characterized by its varied cell shapes (pleomorphism) and is more commonly diagnosed in adults than in children, contrasting with other rhabdomyosarcoma types.
Symptoms of pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma can include:
- A rapidly growing lump or swelling in soft tissues, often painful.
- Soreness or discomfort in the affected area.
- If the tumor compresses nearby structures, symptoms may include nerve pain or issues with organ function, depending on the location.
- General symptoms like fatigue or unexplained weight loss might occur in more advanced stages.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma is not well understood. Like many cancers, it may involve genetic mutations, but specific risk factors have not been clearly identified.
Diagnosing pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma typically involves:
- Physical Examination: Noting any noticeable lumps or swelling.
- Imaging Studies: MRI or CT scans are used to identify the tumor’s size and extent.
- Biopsy: A tissue sample of the tumor is examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma often includes a combination of approaches:
- Surgery: The primary treatment method, aiming to remove the tumor along with some surrounding healthy tissue.
- Radiation Therapy: Often used post-surgery to target any remaining cancer cells, or in cases where surgery isn’t possible.
- Chemotherapy: Can be administered before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
What support can we give for Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma?
Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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