Ewing Sarcoma - Childhood and Adolescence: Introduction

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some basic information about this disease and the parts of the body it may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Childhood Ewing Sarcoma. To see other pages, use the menu. Think of that menu as a roadmap to this full guide.

Ewing sarcoma is part of a group of cancers that affect the bones or nearby soft tissue. Cancer occurs when healthy cells change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.

Where Ewing tumors develop

Depending on the type, Ewing sarcomas develop in different places.

  • Bone. Ewing sarcoma most often develops in the leg, pelvis, rib, arm, or spine.

  • Soft tissue. Previously included in the term “Ewing sarcoma family of tumors,” Ewing sarcoma is a tumor that can grow in the soft tissue outside the bone. It is usually found in the thigh, pelvis, spine, chest wall, or foot.

Older terms, such as peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor, Askin tumor (Ewing sarcoma of chest wall), and extraosseous Ewing sarcoma (often combined in the term Ewing sarcoma family of tumors), refer to this same type of tumor.

This section covers Ewing sarcoma diagnosed in children and teenagers. For more information about Ewing sarcoma in adults, please read Cancer.Net's Guide to Bone Cancer.

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