Rhabdomyosarcoma - Childhood: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about what factors increase the chance of this type of cancer. To see other pages, use the menu.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do.

Doctors and researchers don’t know what causes most childhood cancers. In most cases of rhabdomyosarcoma, there are no clear risk factors. However, it has been shown that children who have the following rare, inherited conditions have a somewhat higher risk of developing rhabdomyosarcoma:

A few cases of rhabdomyosarcoma have been associated with some congenital anomalies, which are abnormalities present at birth. Parental use of cocaine and marijuana before a child’s birth may increase a child’s risk of developing rhabdomyosarcoma.

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what body changes or medical problems this disease can cause. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.