​Ewing’s Sarcoma


Ewing’s Sarcoma is a primary form of bone cancer (cancer originating in the bone cells) which mostly impacts children and adolescents. It usually occurs in the leg bones and hipbones. The sarcoma (tumour arising in the connective tissues of the body) can also develop in the bones of the arms, spine, skull and chest.

When detected early enough, Ewing’s sarcoma can be successfully treated in a majority of cases.

The primary symptoms of Ewing’s sarcoma include pain and swelling in the affected area. You can most commonly feel the pain in an arm or leg, in the chest, back or pelvic region. You might feel the pain progressively getting worse with time. You will notice that the pain is accompanied with numbness and tingling. The tumour may grow to the extent of limiting movement of the limb and cause limping. Upon physical examination you may be able to feel a tender mass or lump in the pain stricken area.  You may also suffer unexplained bone fractures owing to the disease weakening the bones. You may also experience episodes of fever with unknown causes. In the event of cancer spread you may feel perpetually tired. You may also experience a decreased appetite consequently leading to weight loss.

Ewing’s Sarcoma usually occurs amongst teenagers, so at times the pains from the disease are mistaken as pains associated with growth spurts. In order to distinguish between the pains rising from the disease or growth spurt, you can consult a doctor working with the Oncology Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so makes sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

To diagnose the probability of Ewing’s sarcoma, your doctor will begin by asking about your symptoms and the incidence of cancer in your family. You will then undergo a physical examination where the doctor will examine your affected area for swelling and soreness and possible causes of inflammation. If ample evidence points towards cancer, you will be directed to take an x-ray of the area. Apart from the x-ray you may be asked to take other tests as well. These can include a bone scan, Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. If either of these tests report irregularities in the bone, you will be asked to have a biopsy for confirmation. You might also have to take a MRI scan of the area to determine how far the tumour has perpetrated the tissues. In addition you will also be asked to undertake a CBC (Complete Blood Count) test to investigate any abnormal levels of red blood cells or white blood cells and figure out whether the cancer has spread to the bone marrow or not.

If you are diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer) you will be asked to undergo chemotherapy to destroy the maximum cancerous cells. This treatment employs the use of high energy rays or particles that kill the cancer cells. Once the tumour has been shrunk, you will then undergo surgery to remove the tumour, without amputating the limb. The gaps created by the tumour removal are replaced with bone graft or synthetic prosthesis. After the surgery, you will receive another round of chemotherapy to ensure complete removal of the cancer.

In the event of cancerous spread to the circulatory or skeletal system, you might have to undertake a limb amputation surgery.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
 
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
 
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.




The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.