Ewing Sarcoma - Childhood: Stages

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

ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about how doctors describe a cancer’s growth or spread. This is called the stage. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Staging is a way of describing where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body. Doctors use diagnostic tests to find out the cancer’s stage, so staging may not be complete until all of the tests are finished. Knowing the stage helps the doctor to decide what kind of treatment is best and can help predict a patient’s prognosis, which is the chance of recovery. There are different stage descriptions for different types of cancer.

Although there is no official staging system for Ewing sarcoma, the following criteria help doctors describe Ewing sarcoma and work together to plan the best treatments:

Localized Ewing sarcoma. The tumor has remained in the bone or tissue where it began, or it has only spread to nearby tissues.

Metastatic Ewing sarcoma. The tumor has spread from the bone or tissue where it began to another part of the body, such as the lungs, other bones, or bone marrow. Rarely, the disease spreads to the lymph nodes, brain, or spinal cord. Approximately 25% of people with Ewing sarcoma will have obvious evidence of tumor spread at the time of diagnosis. Whether the tumor has spread is the most important factor used to determine a person’s treatment options and prognosis.

Recurrent Ewing sarcoma. Recurrent Ewing sarcoma is a tumor that has come back after treatment. It may recur where it began (a local recurrence) or in another part of the body (metastatic recurrence). If there is a recurrence, the cancer may need to be staged again (called re-staging).

Information about the cancer’s stage will help the doctor recommend a treatment plan. The next section helps explain the treatment options for this type of cancer. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Treatment Options, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.