Ewing’s sarcoma is a cancerous tumor which normally begins in or near a bone and sometimes arises in soft tissue. The tumors can form on any bone, but usually affect long bone. It commonly develops in the bones of the upper arm and leg. Ewing’s sarcoma is a primary bone cancer because it grows from within the bone. These tumors can be cancerous and may spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and bone marrow.
There are four kinds of Ewing’s tumors. When combined, they are called the Ewing family of tumors (EFT). Three types of Ewing’s tumors occur in the bone including:
- Classic Ewing’s sarcoma of the bone
- Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET)
- Askin tumors (PNET of the chest)
One that occurs in the tissue is known as Ewing sarcoma or Ewing sarcoma of the soft tissue
Causes of Ewing Family of Tumors
Experts have limited knowledge on what causes Ewing family of tumors
. No risk factors have been identified. There are no known ways to prevent Ewing’s sarcoma. Researchers have found one strange thing with Ewing’s sarcoma patients which is that they have non-inherited genetic mutations in chromosomes 11 and 22.
- Inflammation in the area of the tumor
- Pain in the affected area
- A lump in the arms, legs, chest, or pelvis.
- Fever for unknown reason
- A bone that breaks for unknown reason
Diagnosis and tests for Ewing Family of Tumors
An imaging test
, such as an X-ray, is sometimes enough to diagnose Ewing family of tumors
. A biopsy can be used for confirmation. This procedure involves taking a tissue sample from the tumor. Cells belonging to Ewing family of tumors are easily identified under a microscope. Other tests that are used to check this type of cancer include:
If the tumor is confined to its original location and has not spread, chemotherapy may be used to shrink the tumor. The therapy uses medication to kill cancer cells. Once the tumor becomes small, a surgery is performed to remove it. After the tumor is removed, the surgeon will rebuild any missing bone. This can be done either with bone grafts or man-made materials.
In some cases, radiation therapy is used to treat Ewing family of tumors. This is more likely if the cancer has spread or if surgery is too dicey. It is also used to reduce the chance of primary bone cancer returning.
If you are diagnosed with one of the Ewing family of tumors, you will continue to follow up with your doctor even once treatment is complete because these tumors have a knack of returning.