How Early Detection Can Transform the Outlook of Ewing’s Sarcoma in Children and Young Adults

How Early Detection Can Transform the Outlook of Ewing’s Sarcoma in Children and Young Adults

Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Ewing's sarcoma | cancerGO

What is Ewing’s sarcoma?

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare and aggressive type of soft tissue sarcoma most often found in children and young adults. The exact cause of Ewing’s sarcoma is unknown, but certain risk factors have been identified that may increase the likelihood of its development.

It causes the development of tumors of the bones of the arms, legs, hands, feet, chest, pelvic bones, and skull. It can also cause tumors in the soft tissue of the abdomen, trunk, arms, and legs.

Risk Factors

  • Age: Ewing’s sarcoma is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 20.
  • Family history: Ewing’s sarcoma has been shown to have a genetic component, so individuals with a family history of the disease may be at a higher risk of developing it.
  • Male sex
  • Exposure to radiation

Symptoms

The exact symptoms of Ewings sarcoma can vary based on the tumor’s location. Some of the most common symptoms can include:

  • Bone pain: Bone pain is the most common symptom of Ewing’s sarcoma. The pain is often described as a dull, aching pain that can be severe and is not relieved by rest or over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Swelling: Swelling and tenderness may occur in the area of the tumor.
  • Fractures: Ewing’s sarcoma can weaken the bone, making it more prone to fractures.
  • Fatigue, weight loss, and fever can also occur

Diagnosis

  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, and CT scans can help identify the presence and location of a tumor.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the suspected tumor, is often done to confirm the diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma.

Treatment

It is important to note that the treatment plan will vary depending on the stage and location of cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient.

Surgery to remove the tumor is the most common treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma. The type of surgery will depend on the tumor’s location and may include amputation of the affected limb.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It may be given alone or in combination with surgery.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is often given in combination with radiation therapy. High doses of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant may sometimes be needed.

Immunotherapy is another option, which uses the immune system to help fight off cancer cells.

Early detection is critical in the fight against Ewing’s sarcoma. When this cancer is caught early, the survival rate jumps from 50% to over 90%. This makes routine screenings and check-ups crucial for children and young adults who are at risk. If you or someone you know has symptoms of Ewing’s Sarcoma, don’t delay in getting a diagnosis. The earlier this cancer is caught, the better the prognosis will be.

Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Julie is an oncology certified Oncology Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of medical oncology experience. In addition to her clinical work, she is an accomplished healthcare writer providing oncology content for various publications. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member for a Master's nursing program and a chair for Doctoral nursing students.

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