What is Ewing’s Sarcoma?

At Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics, we’re proud to offer a pediatric orthopedic oncology program to serve children and adolescents battling bone & soft tissue tumors. While most sarcomas disproportionately affect individuals of advanced age, there are a small number that actually affect young people at a greater rate.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing one such bone and soft tissue tumor.

Ewing’s Sarcoma

Ewing’s Sarcoma is a very rare sarcoma that can exist in bone, the soft tissue around a bone, or in some cases, in nerves. Most often, however, Ewing’s Sarcoma originates in the pelvis and spreads to the femur. No matter where it starts, it can spread to other bones, bone marrow, and vital organs.

It was first identified in 1920 and is named after its discoverer, James Ewing. Ewing’s Sarcoma has a high rate of being cured through medical intervention.

 

What are the Causes of Ewing’s Sarcoma?

Unfortunately, it is not known precisely what causes Ewing’s Sarcoma and cases appear to occur somewhat randomly. Genetics are not a clear factor and environmental or chemical exposure doesn’t appear to be a clear factor either. 

 

Who is Most Affected by Ewing’s Sarcoma?

Unlike most sarcomas, Ewing’s Sarcoma predominantly affects children and young adults between the ages of 10-20, though there are rare cases that fall outside of that range. It most often is found in caucasian individuals, but some rare cases among other races have been identified. Ewing’s Sarcoma impacts males more often than females, at a rate of roughly 1.6 males to 1 female.

In total, Ewing’s Sarcoma accounts for 2% of all childhood cancers, with roughly 200 kids and adolescents being diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

What are the Symptoms of Ewing’s Sarcoma?

The symptoms of Ewing’s Sarcoma are not unlike the traditional sarcoma symptom set, but can often be overlooked because children are those most affected. It’s not uncommon to see the swelling and pain of a tumor be misidentified by the individual or their loved ones as a sports injury or bruise.

In addition to pain, stiffness, and swelling, other symptoms are:

 

How is Ewing’s Sarcoma Treated?

After proper imaging and diagnoses from experts in pediatric tumors treatment, like those at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics, a treatment plan is created. This plan considers several factors, such as the location of the tumor, the size of the tumor, how it has spread, and the overall health of the individual with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Other factors unique to each person would be considered as well.

The treatment plan itself typically begins with Chemotherapy and can be followed by surgical intervention and/or an ongoing radiation therapy depending on the situation. Children with Ewing’s Sarcoma that has not metastasized have cure rates as high as 80%, and the overall 5-year survival rate for a Ewing’s Sarcoma diagnosis is roughly 70%.


We hope this high-level discussion of Ewing’s Sarcoma was insightful and enlightening. The team at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics places a high value on informing our audience and improving the medical literacy of all we impact. 

As always, the content of a blog post is no substitute for a legitimate medical diagnosis, and simply identifying these symptoms in you or your child doesn’t make a diagnosis a certainty. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from a bone or soft tissue tumor, prioritize an appointment with a qualified medical professional at your earliest availability.

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