Diagnosis of Ewing Sarcoma Tumors

Diagnosis of Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors

The following tests and procedures may be used to diagnose or stage Ewing sarcoma family of tumors:
  • Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  • Complete blood count (CBC): A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
    • The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
    • The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
    • The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.
  • Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances, such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.
  • Sedimentation rate: A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the rate at which the red blood cells settle to the bottom of the test tube.
  • X-ray: An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
  • CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the chest, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: The removal of bone marrow, blood, and a small piece of bone by inserting a hollow needle into the hipbone. Samples are removed from both hipbones. A pathologist views the bone marrow, blood, and bone under a microscope to look for signs of cancer.
  • Bone scan: A procedure to check if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography scan): A procedure to find malignant tumor cells in the body. A small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein. The PET scanner rotates around the body and makes a picture of where glucose is being used in the body. Malignant tumor cells show up brighter in the picture because they are more active and take up more glucose than normal cells do.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is done to diagnose Ewing sarcoma family of tumors. Cells and tissues are removed during a biopsy so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. The following tests may be done on the tissue that is removed:
    • Light and electron microscopy: A laboratory test in which cells in a sample of tissue are viewed under regular and high-powered microscopes to look for certain changes in the cells.
    • Cytogenetic analysis: A laboratory test in which cells in a sample of tissue are viewed under a microscope to look for certain changes in the chromosomes.
    • Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR): A laboratory test in which cells in a sample of tissue are studied using chemicals to look for certain changes in the genes.
    • Immunohistochemistry study: A laboratory test in which a substance such as an antibody, dye, or radioisotope is added to a sample of tissue to test for certain antigens. This type of study is used to tell the difference between different types of cancer.

Prognosis

The prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on certain factors before and after treatment. Before treatment, prognosis depends on:
  • Whether the tumor has spread to distant parts of the body.
  • Where in the body the tumor started.
  • How large the tumor is at diagnosis.
  • Whether the tumor has certain genetic changes.
  • The patient’s age. Infants and patients aged younger than 15 years have a better prognosis than adolescents aged 15 years and older, young adults, or adults.
  • The patient’s gender. Girls have a better prognosis than boys.
  • Whether the tumor has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
After treatment, prognosis is affected by:
  • Whether the tumor was completely removed by surgery.
  • Whether the cancer came back more than two years after the initial treatment.
Treatment options depend on the following:
  • Where the tumor is found in the body and how large the tumor is.
  • The patient’s age and general health.
  • The effect the treatment will have on the patient’s appearance and important body functions.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
If you have symptoms associated with Ewing Sarcoma Tumor types of bone cancer, contact us to request an appointment with our oncology specialists to begin diagnostic testing.