|How Is Rhabdomyosarcoma Staged?|
Staging is the process of finding out how far a cancer has spread. The outlook for chances of survival (prognosis) for people with cancer depends, to a large extent, on the cancer's stage. The stage of a cancer is one of the most important factors in choosing treatment.
Your child's doctors will use the results of the imaging tests the pathologist's biopsy reports, and the direct examination of the organs during surgery to determine how far the cancer has spread. If there is any doubt about the presence or absence of cancer, more biopsies may be done on tissue at the edge of the tumor, nearby lymph nodes, and any suspicious lumps in other parts of the body.
Staging for rhabdomyosarcoma is fairly complex. Doctors first determine 3 key pieces of information:
* the type of rhabdomyosarcoma (embryonal vs. alveolar)
* the clinical group
* the TNM stage
These factors are then used to divide patients into risk groups, which in turn are used to determine the best treatment options.