My uncle Herm was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma when he was in his mid-20s; it was found in his leg. He lived with this rare cancer for 10 years before he passed away from it. He died before I was born, so I didn’t know anything about it. Years later when I was a teenager my cousin Joe was diagnosed with the same type of cancer, he was also in his 20s. Joe’s cancer was found in his chest, he didn’t live as long with the cancer. He passed when he was only 27. Joe and I were really close, so I got interested in the type of cancer. His doctor said that it was a rare type of cancer that was hereditary to the identical. This made me very interested. Looking at pictures of Joe and my Uncle Herm you could not tell them apart. I wanted to know if it is true that Ewing’s Sarcoma is hereditary to the identical because there were two people in my family that were diagnosed with this type of cancer and they were identical. Joe never had any children, so if the cancer is hereditary to the identical then the cancer gene stopped with him. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a very rare cancer in adults; it has usually spread to other parts of the body when it is detected.
Ewing’s Sarcoma is a form of bone cancer and is typically found in teenagers when they undergo growth spurts, but it can occur at any age. Ewing’s Sarcoma is very rare in adults. Ewing’s Sarcoma accounts for about one to two percent of childhood cancers. There are about 225 children and adolescents diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in the United States each year (Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2010-2012). It is the second most common malignant bone tumor in children and adolescents. Adult patients with Ewing’s Sarcoma/PNET at highest risk for death are those older than 26 years and have metastatic disease or an extra osseous primary tumor. There are more males that are affected than females. Ewing’s Sarcoma is most often found in children between the ages of 10 and 20. Ewing’s Sarcoma usually appears in the middle of the long bones of the arms and legs, or in the bones of the pelvis, and often invades the muscles and soft tissue next to the tumor site. Ewing’s Sarcoma can also spread to other parts of the body, including the bone marrow, other bones, lungs, kidneys, and the adrenal gland. Sometimes the tumor remains in the soft tissues of the body and does not involve bone.
The exact cause of Ewing’s Sarcoma is not fully understood. Researchers have discovered chromosomal changes in a cell’s DNA that can lead to Ewing’s Sarcoma formation. These changes are not inherited. The changes develop in children after they are born for no apparent reason (Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2010-2012). Genetics play a major role in Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nine out of ten people diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma have a genetic abnormality that makes them susceptible. There are no screening tests to detect early signs of bone cancer, including Ewing’s Sarcoma. Researchers think that Ewing’s Sarcoma begins in a certain kind of primitive cell (WebMD, n.d.).
The symptoms that come with Ewing’s Sarcoma could resemble other medical conditions or problems, so a physician should be consulted for a diagnosis. There are symptoms one can look for. The symptoms may include: *
Pain around the site of the tumor
Swelling and redness around the site of the tumor *
Weight loss, decreased appetite
Paralysis or incontinence (if the tumor is in the spinal region) The Brigham and Women's Hospital (2010-2012)
Symptoms related to nerve compression from tumor (e.g., numbness, tingling, paralysis, etc.). A physician can diagnose Ewing’s Sarcoma. It is difficult to distinguish Ewing’s Sarcoma from other similar tumors. Diagnosis is often made by excluding all other common tumors, and by the use of genetic studies. Multiple...
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