Team Approach -- (From left) Pediatric surgeon Michael La Quaglia talks with sarcoma experts Paul Meyers and Leonard Wexler.
Ewing sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that mostly affects children and adolescents. It most commonly forms around the bone, but can also involve nearby soft tissue, like that in the pelvis or chest wall. It tends to develop in areas like the ribs, upper arm, thighbone, and pelvic bone. Patients often have pain and swelling in the affected area. It’s common for children to get bumps while playing, but a doctor should look at any bump that doesn’t go away quickly.
In general, sarcomas are cancers in bones, muscles, and connective tissue throughout the body. They can affect children, adolescents, and young adults. There are several types of pediatric sarcomas, including Ewing sarcoma.
Ewing sarcoma usually develops in patients after age ten and before age 30, but can occur in people younger than ten and older than 30, even up to age 40. It is not inherited. Boys are slightly more likely than girls to get the disease, and white people are far more likely to be affected than African Americans and Asian Americans.
Each year in the United States, about 300 to 400 children, adolescents, and young adults are diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma. Though it is the second most common bone cancer in children, it makes up just 1 percent of all pediatric cancers. The disease was first described here at Memorial Sloan Kettering in 1921 by pathologist James Ewing. Our experts routinely treat young patients with types of sarcomas that many other healthcare professionals rarely see.