Doctor's Notes on Ewing Sarcoma
Ewing sarcoma is a rare tumor type (cancer) that forms from abnormal bone or soft tissue cells and is most common in adolescents and young adults. Signs and symptoms include pain and/or swelling most often in the legs, arms, chest, back or pelvis; a lump or bump that is somewhat soft and warm may be found in the same areas. Also, the patient may have a fever but no clear source or reason for it, and in some people, a bone fracture may develop for no good reason (until the tumor is found and diagnosed).
Although researchers have found some chromosome changes that may lead to Ewing sarcoma development, they are not inherited and develop after birth for unknown reasons. The exact cause of Ewing sarcoma is not known.
What Are the Treatments for Ewing Sarcoma?
The treatments for Ewing sarcoma consist of three major procedures:
- Chemotherapy: Two or more drugs are given orally or IV mainly to shrink the tumor before surgery and/or radiotherapy.
- Surgery: removal of a small amount of bone or in advanced disease, removal of an entire limb
- Radiation: treatment with X-ray or proton beams to kill cancer cells that remain after surgery or as a replacement therapy to areas that surgery may not be recommended (risk of functional damage)
Your doctor can determine which therapy to use alone or in combination to treat this uncommon cancer.
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.