What Are the Symptoms of Ewing's Sarcoma?
Symptoms of Ewing's Sarcoma vary and depend on the location and size of the cancer. The following are some of the symptoms associated with Ewing's Sarcoma:
- Pain, swelling or stiffness around the tumor area (hand, arm, chest, back, or pelvis)
- Lump near the skin which is warm and soft to touch
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bone pain that gets worse during night or while exercising
- Easy fracture
- High fever
- Paralysis in case the cancer is near the spinal cord
- Difficulty in breathing, if it is on the chest wall
Causes of Ewing's Sarcoma
Though, the causes of Ewing's Sarcoma are unclear, here are some potential risk factors associated with it:
- Chromosomal rearrangement that alters the genes
- Injury or trauma to the bone
- High dose of radiation exposure
- Any other congenital disease
What Are the Types of Ewing's Sarcoma?
The type of Ewing’s Sarcoma depends on where a malignant tumor occurs. Some of the types of Ewing's Sarcoma are:
- Ewing Sarcoma of Bones – This type of cancer starts in the bones, often appearing in the ribs, pelvis, shoulder blades and thighs.
- Soft Tissue Tumour (extraosseous) – It affects the soft tissues around the bones, like cartilage or muscle.
- Peripheral Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour – It is a group of highly malignant tumors, which affects soft tissues and bone. In case it is found in the chest, it is called Askin Tumour.
Regardless of where it occurs, this cancer can spread to vital organs, like heart, lungs, kidneys and more.
What Are the Treatment Options for Ewing's Sarcoma?
A doctor would choose Ewing’s Sarcoma treatment on the basis of the cancer stage and health of the patient. Some of the Ewing’s Sarcoma treatment options are:
- Chemotherapy – It is the use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy the cancer cells. These drugs are given either through a vein or orally in the form of pills. Once they enter the bloodstream, they work on the entire body, which makes this treatment useful for those cancers that are likely to spread.
- Surgery – The surgery aims to remove a malignant tumor without causing too much damage to the body. A surgery may be conducted to remove cancer cells as well as to rebuild the affected bones. Depending on the cancer location, the doctor may advise bone graft or prosthesis.
- Radiation Therapy – By making use of high energy X-rays, radiation therapy can kill cancer cells by preventing them from growing and spreading. Usually, radiation therapy is not useful if cancer cells have already spread to distant organs in the body. Furthermore, While, in external radiation, a machine is used to send high-energy rays (or beams) to the ; in case of Internal radiation, the implant is put inside the body to cure.
If detected timely, the cure rates of ewing sarcoma are very high
Life after Ewing’s Sarcoma Treatment
Ewing’s Sarcoma treatment not only affects one physically but also the way we think and feel. Fretting over the thought that cancer might come back is normal, especially during the initial years after the treatment is over. Facing all the negative thoughts and emerging as a winner is necessary. Do not expect everything to go back to the state it was before you were diagnosed. Avoid being too hard on yourself and diligently follow the below tips to find peace and comfort in your post-treatment life :
- Find ways to relax yourself
- Invest in yourself, i.e., pursue a hobby or do anything that makes you happy
- Eat a balanced diet
- Indulge in physical activity without overexerting your body
- Look for positive vibes even in bad times
- Reach out to your family and friends for emotional support
- Vent out all your emotions – both positive and negative
Follow up Care after Ewing’s Sarcoma Treatment
The need for medical care does not end with the completion of the treatment. Cancer may recur because small cancer cells may remain undetected in the body, which might gradually increase in number. Therefore, it is imperative to visit your doctor on a regular basis. During the follow-up sessions, your doctor will ask questions about your health. Patients may have to undergo tests and X-rays/CT scans as part of regular follow-up procedure. However, the testing recommendations would depend on various factors, including the stage of cancer, the age of the patient and types of medicines given. As a cancer survivor, it is the best time to tell your doctor about your worries and side-effects which you may be experiencing.