Ewing's Sacroma
Childhod Cancer and Ewing's Sarcoma Treatment

 

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Ewing's sarcoma and treatments for childhood cancer

What are the treatments for Ewing's sarcoma? Childhood cancer patients with Ewing's sarcoma receive treatment through a combination of cancer-fighting drugs (chemotherapy) as well as surgery or radiation. Even when the tumor is detected at a very small size, there may be evidence of microscopic spread. For this reason, childhood cancer and Ewing's sarcoma require treatment to the entire body. This treatment includes chemotherapy which should destroy pediatric cancer cells which have spread to the rest of the body, and to shrink the main mass of tumor cells.

It is important for childhood cancer and Ewing's sarcoma patients to be evaluated for treatment by a radiologist, hemo-therapist, pathologist, surgeon, or orthopedic oncologist, and radiation oncologist as soon as possible. The surgeon or orthopedic oncologist performing the surgery should be involved during the biopsy so that the incision can be placed in an acceptable location. This is especially important if the lesion can be totally excised or if a limb salvage procedure will be attempted. The radiation oncologist and pathologist should be consulted prior to biopsy/surgery in order to verify that the incision will not compromise the radiation port and so that multiple types of tissue samples are obtained. Diagnostic scans (chest x-ray, chest computed tomography [CT], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], or CT of the primary) should be performed prior to any procedure that requires anesthesia because anesthesia-induced abnormalities in the chest may be difficult to assess. Other studies such as a bone scan and bone marrow biopsy may be obtained preoperatively too.

In about 80 percent of Ewing's sarcoma cases involving an arm or leg, the limb can be saved, if there was no failure to diagnose this childhood cancer disease.

Significant limb-saving techniques include bone grafts, rotation-plasty, and prosthetic implants. Childhood cancer patients may also participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials for children and adolescents with cancer are generally designed to compare potentially better therapy with therapy that is currently accepted as standard. Most of the progress made in identifying curative therapies for childhood cancers has been achieved through clinical trials.

More facts about childhood cancer care and Ewing's sarcoma treatment: After a timely and proper diagnosis, the second critical component to being cured is getting Ewing's sarcoma treatments that do not greatly impact the quality of life. Chemo drugs for childhood cancer patients cause the usual outwardly visible side effects such as hair loss and nausea. More serious side effects are listed on the drug information sheet of each chemotherapy drug. Parents are urged to read these thoroughly and focus on the immediate threads and potentially dangerous side effects that are a direct result of the pediatric cancer treatments.

Appropriate chemotherapy will rapidly wipe out growing bone marrow cells as well as the Ewing's sarcoma cancerous cells. Therefore, red blood cells, good white blood cells, and platelets are not formed. Without red blood cells, children get tired and weak. A transfusion of red blood cells is a solution. Without platelets, children will be unable to stop bleeding, if cut. A platelet transfusion is another transfusion.

White blood cells are monitored throughout the treatment. Without the right kind of white blood cells, patients are unable to fight off an infection. The amount of white blood cells are measured. If the white bloods range between 500-1000, the child teeters in the danger zone. If the white blood cells are under 500, the child must avoid crowded places.

Infections develop rapidly in pediatric cancer patients. If a child has a fever of 101, the clinic must immediately be notified. Most hospitals have an oncologist on call 24 hours a day to help the parents.

Infections can be fungal, bacterial, or viral. Fungal infections can be particularly nasty for pediatric cancer patients. Sometimes infections are caused by the medi-port lines; sometimes there is a fever; and sometimes doctors cannot find the cause of an infection.

Do you have a failure to diagnose Ewing’s sarcoma case?


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