Staging of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma is done in three related steps.
Childhood rhabdomyosarcoma is staged by using three different ways to describe the cancer:
The staging system is based on the size of the tumor, where it is in the body, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body:
In stage 1, cancer is any size, has not spread to lymph nodes, and is found in only one of the following "favorable" sites:
Rhabdomyosarcoma that occurs in a "favorable" site has a better prognosis. If the site where cancer occurs is not one of the favorable sites listed above, it is said to be an "unfavorable" site.
In stage 2, cancer is found in any one area not included in stage 1. The tumor is 5 centimeters or smaller and has not spread to lymph nodes.
In stage 3, cancer is found in any one area not included in stage 1 and one of the following is true:
In stage 4, the tumor may be any size and cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. Cancer has also spread to distant parts of the body such as the lung, bone marrow, or bone.
The grouping system is based on whether the cancer has spread and how much cancer remains after surgery to remove the tumor:
Cancer was found only in the place where it started and it was completely removed by surgery. Tissue was taken from the edges of where the tumor was removed. The tissue was checked under a microscope by a pathologist and no cancer cells were seen. Group II
Group II is divided into groups IIA, IIB, and IIC.
Cancer was partly removed by surgery and there are cancer cells (a lump or mass) remaining that can be seen by x-ray or other imaging test. Cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body.
Cancer had spread to distant parts of the body at the time of diagnosis.
The risk group is based on the staging system and the grouping system and is used to plan treatment.
The risk group describes the chance that rhabdomyosarcoma will recur (come back). The following risk groups are used:Low-risk childhood rhabdomyosarcoma
Low-risk childhood rhabdomyosarcoma is one of the following:
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