The most common soft tissue sarcoma is rhabdomyosarcoma (a tumour of muscle cells). Just over 100 children diagnosed every year in the UK.


Children with soft tissue tumours can present with a variety of symptoms. These may include:

  • A swelling or lump
  • A blockage in the nose or discharge from a nostril
  • Blood in urine (haematuria) - this may appear bright red, pink or brown (cola- coloured)
  • A change in bowel habit, especially constipation
  • Feeling unusually tired
  • Looking very pale


​The most common location for rhabdomyosarcoma is in the head and neck, but other common sites are the bladder and the testes. It is possible for it to be found anywhere in the body.

​Treatment involves a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Depending on how far the tumour has spread (staging) at diagnosis, treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma can be quite aggressive.

Generally, younger children have a better outcome than older children but it is important to remember that every child is different.

If you are reading this page, the likelihood is that you are worried your child or a child close to you may have cancer. Alternatively, they may have recently been diagnosed. If you have any concerns or queries, please discuss them with a member of your child's health care team. If you are unsure, it is always better to have your child reviewed.



Content reviewed July 2021