Ewing sarcoma is an uncommon type of cancer that affects the bones and other soft tissues surrounding bones. Long bones of the pelvis are the most affected. This includes the arms and the legs. The disease is prevalent in teenagers and young adults. Studies have also shown that it occurs more in men than in women. The exact cause of Ewing’s sarcoma is unknown. Some of the signs and symptoms of the disease include pain and swelling in the affected part of the body. Also, patients do complain of tiredness, weight loss that cannot be explained, fragile bones, that are prone to fracture and dislocation, and so on. Being a malignant disease, this tumor does spread from its place of origin to other parts of the body. This generally makes the treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma more difficult. Some of the places a tumor can spread to include the lungs, bones and so on. It is important to go see a physician for the right diagnosis and treatment if one notices any of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Physicians would take the medical and personal history of the patient. Subsequently, further, the test would be performed on the patient, to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the evaluations done include physical examination, imaging tests such as the X-ray, Magnetic resonance imaging, Computed tomography scan, blood test, and biopsy. The biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis. This disease cannot be prevented, and it also cannot be inherited. There are no risk factors for the disease. Stem cells and exosomes are also effective ways of treating the disease. The purpose of the treatment is to remove all the cancerous cells in the body of the patient before new stem cells would be transplanted to the patient.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ewing’s Sarcoma?
As earlier mentioned, Ewing’s sarcoma is more prevalent in males than in females. This disease can affect any part of the body. However, it mostly affects the bones of the pelvis and the long tubular bones, such as the humerus and tibia. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disease include the following;
- Pain, tenderness and swelling: Patients suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma do present with swelling and pain near the area affected. This is usually in the long tubular bones, and also in the bones of the pelvis.
- Bone pain that usually worsens at night, or with exerted physical activity.
- Fatigue: Patients affected by Ewing’s sarcoma do experience tiredness. This occurs to them even at rest.
- Fever: Ewing’s sarcoma patients do present with a fever that has no cause.
- Weight loss: Considering the abnormal growth of the affected bones, patients tend to lose weight. This is because of the increased metabolism due to the growth.
- Weak bones: Patients tend to experience broken bones. The reason for this isn’t known yet.
- Lump: People affected by Ewing’s sarcoma do present with a lump near the surface of their skin. This lump does feel warm, tender and soft to touch.
- Abnormal movement: Patient does present with pain in their legs. As a result of this, they do limp, especially when walking.
What Are The Causes Of Ewing’s Sarcoma?
The exact cause of Ewing’s sarcoma is not known yet. However, one of the causes of this disease is genetics. Genetic exchange between chromosomes can make healthy cells become cancerous. This disease is not inheritable. This implies that it cannot be passed on from parents to their children. It has been observed that the disease is not connected to factors such as radiation, chemical toxins, and so on. There have been some suggestions that the disease might be as a result of some alterations in the DNA structure, especially after birth, leading to the development of the disease. However, there is not enough evidence to back this up. There is another theory that Ewing’s sarcoma might occur secondary to initial cancer, especially in people who have undergone radiotherapy for a different type of cancer
What Are The Complications Of Ewing’s Sarcoma?
Ewing’s sarcoma tends to spread from where it starts to other areas of the body. This makes the management of this disease more difficult. This disease can spread to other areas of the body, such as in the bone marrow, lungs and other parts of the body. In addition, this disease might also return after treatment. Asides this, the side effects of the treatment, such as chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are usually short term and long term. It’s important to monitor any strange development when undergoing treatment for this disease.
You should go see a physician for the right diagnosis and treatment if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Physicians would take the medical and personal history of the patient. Subsequently, the test would be performed on the patient, to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the evaluations done include physical examination, imaging tests such as the X-ray, Magnetic resonance imaging, Computed tomography scan, blood test, and biopsy. The biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis
There are two types of biopsy done in the diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma. These are a needle and surgical biopsy. In the needle biopsy, the physician inserts the needle into the skin and guides it to the tumor. Some little pieces of the tissue of a tumor are extracted with this needle. Also, a surgical biopsy, the physician makes an incision into the skin, and a portion of a tumor is taken. These tissues would show if the growth is malignant or benign. The doctor would form a diagnosis based on the result of the evaluations and tests.
Stem Cell Therapy And Ewing’s Sarcoma
Scientists are working on ways to utilize stem cell transplantation for the treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma. Hematopoietic stem cells are extracted from the bone marrow. The goal of the treatment is to eliminate all the cancerous cells in the body of the patient before new stem cells would be transplanted to the patient.
Gilman, A. and Oesterheld, J. (2008). Myeloablative chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue for Ewing sarcoma. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 42(11), pp.761-761.
Huang, M. and Lucas, K. (2011). Current Therapeutic Approaches in Metastatic and Recurrent Ewing Sarcoma. Sarcoma, 2011, pp.1-5.
Marec-Bérard, P. and Philip, T. (2003). Ewing sarcoma: The paediatrician’s point of view. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 42(5), pp.477-480.
Meltzer, P. (2007). Is Ewing’s Sarcoma a Stem Cell Tumor?. Cell Stem Cell, 1(1), pp.13-15.Get More Stem Cell Information at iSTEMCELL