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What causes rhabdomyosarcoma?

Not much is known about what causes rhabdomyosarcoma, but it has something to do with the DNA that controls the cells in skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are the muscles that we can control and move, such as those in our limbs, necks, and faces. In children with rhabdomyosarcoma, something has damaged the DNA that controls the production and growth of cells in skeletal muscle. These problems in the genes cause new cells to develop too quickly and old cells to stay alive for too long. This results in a buildup of cells that forms a tumor. In some cases, the DNA is often damaged by certain genetic disorders. In many cases, though, doctors are not sure what causes the DNA abnormalities that lead to rhabdomyosarcoma.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.