What is Ewing's sarcoma?


Quick Answer

Ewing's sarcoma is a type of primary bone cancer that mostly affects children during puberty. It is a very rare type of cancer, accounting for about 1 percent of childhood cancers. While it can occur at any age, its occurrence is very rare in individuals over the age of 30.

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What is Ewing's sarcoma?
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Full Answer

Ewing's sarcoma is known to occur more frequently during puberty when the bones are developing rapidly. Caucasian children are 10 times more likely to develop Ewing's sarcoma compared to African-American, African and Asian children. In the United States, the incidence of this type of cancer is estimated to be at about 4.6 cases per million in individuals between the ages of 15 to 19. Globally, the incidence of Ewing's sarcoma is only at 2 cases per million children.

Ewing's sarcoma is a primary bone cancer because it occurs within the bones. Cancer that metastasizes on the bones but originates from other parts of the body is considered secondary bone cancer. Although the cancer can develop in any bone in the body, it occurs more often in the pelvic area and the proximal long tubular bones.

During its early stages, Ewing's sarcoma is sometimes missed because its symptoms are similar to a host of other diseases. Just like most other types of cancer, however, early detection of Ewing's sarcoma is vital. Among the treatment options for this type of cancer are radiotherapy, chemotherapy and the surgical removal of the primary tumor.

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