Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare cancer affecting bones and surrounding soft tissues. This cancer usually occurs in long bones such as arms, legs or pelvis.
Types of Ewing Sarcoma
Ewing sarcoma is of the following types
- Bone Tumour: This is the most common type of cancer which starts in the thigh bones, pelvis, ribs, or shoulders
- Soft Tissue Tumour. This tumour starts in tissues around cartilage or muscles
- Peripheral Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour (pPNET): This tumour starts in the nerves throughout the body.
- Askin's Tumour. This is a type of pPNET which starts in the chest
Pain and swelling in cancer-affected regions are the common symptoms of Ewing sarcoma. The other symptoms include:
- Lump in the area
- Limping due to leg pain
- Abrupt weight loss
- Bone fracture
- Loss of bladder function
The exact cause of Ewing sarcoma is not known. The possible causes, however, are:
- Age: It is more common in teenagers and young adults
- Gender: It is more common in men
Ewing sarcoma is diagnosed by:
- Physical examination: The doctor will assess the medical condition by checking for lumps, fractures, or redness. The doctor may also ask about your medical history to understand the overall health condition.
- Imaging tests: Various imaging tests such as CT scans, and MRIS will be performed to gauge the size, location, and stage of the tumour.
- Biopsy: The doctor will extract a small tissue from the area and examine for the presence of cancer cells.
- Bone scan: The doctor will also conduct a bone scan to examine the tumour inside the bones.
The treatment strategy for Ewing sarcoma depends on the stage and type of cancer, age, and overall health of the patient. Surgery is usually the mainstay of the treatment. It may be combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for better outcomes
- Surgery: Surgery is the mainstay of osteosarcoma. The doctor will remove the tumour in a way to reduces disability. In advanced stages, amputation may be needed to prevent cancer from spreading.
- Radiation therapy: High-energy X-rays will be used to destroy cancer cells. These radiations may be administered before or after the surgery depending on the patient's condition.
- Chemotherapy: High doses of anti-cancer drugs will be administered to destroy cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy is combined with radiation therapy to remove cells from the body.
- Targeted therapy: Certain drugs will also be administered to target specific cancer cells. This therapy is reserved for advanced cancer.
- Cryotherapy: During this procedure, liquid nitrogen will be administered to freeze and kill tumour cells.