Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma family of tumors is a group of tumors that form from a certain kind of cell in bone or soft tissue. This family of tumors includes the following:

  • Ewing tumor of bone. This type of tumor is found in the bones of the legs, arms, chest, trunk, back, or head. There are three types of Ewing tumor of bone:
    • Classic Ewing sarcoma.
    • Primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET).
    • Askin tumor (PNET of the chest wall).
  • Extraosseous Ewing sarcoma (tumor growing in tissue other than bone). This type of soft tissue tumor is found in the trunk, arms, legs, head, and neck.

Ewing tumors usually occur in teenagers and are more common in boys and Caucasians.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain and/or swelling, most commonly in the arms, legs, chest, back, or pelvis (area between the hips).
  • A lump (which may feel warm) in the arms, legs, chest, or pelvis.
  • Fever for no known reason.
  • A bone that breaks for no known reason.

In some patients, the tumor may have spread by the time it is diagnosed.

Other conditions may cause the same symptoms as Ewing sarcoma family of tumors so a doctor should be consulted if any of the above symptoms occur. Tests that examine the bone and soft tissue are used to diagnose and stage Ewing sarcoma family of tumors.

Certain factors before and after treatment affect chance of recovery (prognosis) and treatment options. Before treatment, prognosis depends on:

  • Whether the tumor has spread to distant parts of the body.
  • Where in the body the tumor started.
  • How large the tumor is at diagnosis.
  • Whether the tumor has certain genetic changes.
  • The patient’s age. Infants and patients aged younger than 15 years have a better prognosis than adolescents aged 15 years and older, young adults, or adults.
  • The patient’s gender. Girls have a better prognosis than boys.
  • Whether the tumor has just been diagnosed or has recurred.

After treatment, prognosis is affected by:

  • Whether the tumor was completely removed by surgery.
  • Whether the cancer came back more than two years after the initial treatment.

Treatment options depend on the following:

  • Where the tumor is found in the body and how large the tumor is.
  • The patient’s age and general health.
  • The effect the treatment will have on the patient’s appearance and important body functions.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred.

Decisions about surgery may depend on how well the initial treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy works.