It's not clear what causes rhabdomyosarcoma.
Doctors know that rhabdomyosarcoma begins when a cell develops changes in its DNA. A cell's DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The changes tell the cell to multiply quickly and to go on living when healthy cells would normally die. The result is a mass (tumor) of abnormal cells that can invade and destroy healthy body tissue. The abnormal cells can break away and spread (metastasize) throughout the body.
Read More: Rhabdomyosarcoma, its symptoms (part 1)
Factors that may increase the risk of rhabdomyosarcoma include:
Family history of cancer: The risk of rhabdomyosarcoma is higher in children with a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has had cancer, particularly if that cancer occurred at a young age. But most children with rhabdomyosarcoma have no family history of cancer.
Genetic syndromes that increase the risk of cancer: In rare instances, rhabdomyosarcoma has been linked to genetic syndromes that are passed from parents to children, including neurofibromatosis 1, Noonan syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Costello syndrome.
Courtesy: Mayo Clinic