As of 2010, the five-year survival rate for children younger than 15 with rhabdomyosarcoma is 67 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. The survival rate in people between the ages of 15 and 19 is 51 percent. These survival rates show an increase over the rates in 1979.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer of the skeletal muscle cells, reports the American Cancer Society. It is more likely to affect children than adults. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma often occurs in the arms and the legs. This type of rhabdomyosarcoma tends to be more aggressive than other types of rhabdomyosarcoma and requires stronger treatment because the cells are growing faster.