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Ewing’s sarcoma: what it is and what are the treatments

ewing's sarcoma disease

What is Ewing's sarcoma? A rather rare cancer, it mainly affects children and adolescents: let's see the symptoms, causes and therapies.

A rare bone cancer, Ewing's sarcoma can strike at any age. Nonetheless, it is especially common among children and adolescents. Unfortunately, to date, there is no form of prevention. However, research is making real leaps and bounds. It is estimated, in fact, 70% survival without metastases. Let's find out, therefore, what are the symptoms and therapies put in place to cure this cancer.

Ewing's sarcoma: symptoms and causes

Ewing's sarcoma was discovered by the doctor who gave it its name around 1920. This term indicates more than a family of tumors that can arise in different parts of the body, but with similar origins and characteristics, both from the point of view genetic and histological. Cancer of this type can strike at any age, but develops more in children and adolescents.

ewing's sarcoma disease
ewing's sarcoma disease

It usually originates in the bones, especially those in the pelvis, chest region, and legs, or in soft tissue or other organs, such as the kidneys. To date, the causes of this tumor are not yet well known, but three types are distinguished:

– Ewing sarcoma bone (most common) or extra bone.
– Primary neuroectodermal tumors: rare, with characteristics similar to Ewing's sarcomas.
– Askin's tumor, which arises in the chest wall.

Regardless of the type of cancer, scientists agree that there is only one cause and, consequently, only one therapy. The main symptom of sarcoma, on the other hand, is pain in the part of the body attacked by the mass and to which swelling can then also be added. The latter is clearly visible to the naked eye. If the disease has already spread, you may experience fever, tiredness, and weight loss.

Ewing's sarcoma: prognosis and life expectancy

Ewing's sarcoma is quite rare . According to the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), fewer than 100 new cases are registered in Italy every year. Generally, to arrive at a certain diagnosis , the following are performed: radiography, magnetic resonance or CT (computed tomography), bone scintigraphy, PET and biopsy. It should be noted that when the mass is small, it can be removed during the biopsy. Whether it is a sarcoma in the femur or in other parts of the body, the treatment always depends on the stage of the disease and will therefore be established by the attending physician.

Usually, this tumor is treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or by combining the three techniques together. Although to date there is no form of prevention , Ewing's sarcoma has a good survival that is around 70% in patients without metastases, while it drops to 40% in the presence of changes. However, research is always active and aimed at finding ever new solutions capable of lengthening and improving the life expectancy of those who suffer from it.

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