Ewing Sarcoma - Childhood: Overview

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2014

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 the Ewing Sarcoma. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen. Think of that menu as a roadmap to this full guide.

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

Depending on the type, EFT develops in different places. EFT includes:

  • Ewing sarcoma: Also called Ewing tumor of the bones, this is the most common type of EFT.
  • Extraosseous Ewing (EOE): This is a tumor that grows in the soft tissues outside the bone.
  • Peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PPNET): This is a rare tumor found in the bones and soft tissues. This includes Askin's tumor, which is a PPNET of the chest wall.

Ewing sarcoma occurs most often in the leg, spine, rib, or pelvis. EFT of the soft tissue is usually found in the thigh, pelvis, spine, chest, or foot. Specifically, about 41% of EFT develops in a leg and foot, 26% in the pelvis, 16% in the chest wall, 9% in an arm or hand, 6% in the spine, and 2% in the skull.

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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