Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How did my teenager get Ewing's sarcoma?"
The doctor says it's rare. Why did my teenager get it? How?
Ewing's sarcoma is a form of bone cancer. Your doctor is right that it is one of the rarer cancers; probably there are only a few hundred cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Most cases of Ewing's sarcoma are diagnosed in teenagers. We do not know a whole lot about the risk factors that predispose to getting Ewing's sarcoma. Interestingly, they rarely occur ever in people who are not of Caucasian decent. There is no clear evidence of any familial genetic syndromes predisposing to getting Ewing's sarcoma. Finally, no clear environmental exposures have been associated with a risk of developing the cancer. Treatment for Ewing's sarcoma is complex, and involves a team of surgeons and oncologists. Most of the time, treatment begins with medications to kill cancer cells (chemotherapy). The type of chemotherapy used depends in part on whether the cancer is just in one place or if it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. Many times surgery is an important part of treatment as well, especially if there is a large local tumor that can be cut out. Your pediatric oncologist will be the one who directs this treatment course and who answers your questions.
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