Ewing Sarcoma - Childhood and Adolescence: Introduction

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some basic information about Ewing sarcoma and the parts of the body it may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Ewing Sarcoma - Childhood and Adolescence. Use the menu to see other pages. Think of that menu as a roadmap for this entire 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 sarcoma develops

The illustration shows the major bones in the skeleton of a young adult. Bones highlighted include the skull and bones in the torso, such as the clavicle, ribs, sternum, vertebrae, and sacrum. The illustration also highlights the bones of the arms, including the humerus, ulna, and radius, and the bones of the legs, including the femur, tibia, and fibula.

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

  • Bone. Ewing sarcoma most often develops in the leg, pelvis, ribs, 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 of 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 the chest wall), and extraosseous Ewing sarcoma (often combined with the term "Ewing sarcoma family of tumors"), refer to this same type of tumor.

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

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The next section in this guide is Statistics. It helps explain how many children and young adults are diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, as well as general survival rates. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.