Ewing's sarcomas, or Ewing's tumors, are a category of cancers that form in the bones or soft tissues. According to the American Cancer Society, about 225 children and teens are diagnosed annually with the disease in North America. They account for about 1 percent of pediatric cancers.
Ewing's sarcomas usually form in the pelvis (hip bones), chest (ribs or shoulder blades) or legs, particularly the long bones. Rarely, tumors grow in the skull or flat bones of the trunk.
Researchers have found that Ewing's sarcomas are caused by genetic changes that happen after birth. However, it is not known why some people develop the disease. It is not passed down in families.
Ewing's sarcoma survival rate
About two-thirds of Ewing's sarcoma patients become long-term survivors of the disease.
Ewing's sarcoma types
Ewing's sarcomas are categorized into three types. While each type is slightly different, they all are caused by the same gene abnormalities and are treated in the same way.
- Ewing's sarcoma of the bone: This is the most common type of Ewing's sarcoma.
- Extraosseous Ewing tumor (EOE): These tumors form in soft tissues around bones.
- Peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PPNET): An extremely rare type of cancer, these tumors share certain characteristics with Ewing's sarcoma of the bone and EOE.
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Ewing's sarcoma risk factors
Although the exact cause of Ewing's sarcoma is not known, certain things seem to put people at higher risk of developing the disease.
- Gender: More males that females develop Ewing's sarcoma.
- Race: Children who are white (non-Hispanic or Hispanic) are at higher risk. Ewing's sarcoma is very rare in other races.
- Age: Ewing's sarcoma usually develops in teenagers.