What are the risk factors for Ewing tumors?
A risk factor is anything that affects a person’s chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors.
Lifestyle-related risk factors such as body weight, physical activity, diet, and tobacco use play a major role in many adult cancers. But these factors usually take many years to influence cancer risk, and they are not thought to play much of a role in childhood cancers, including Ewing tumors.
Studies of children with Ewing tumors have not found links to radiation, chemicals, or any other environmental exposures.
Certain childhood cancers tend to run in some families. But genetic changes passed along within families are not an important risk factor for Ewing tumors. Although the gene changes that cause most Ewing tumors are known (see the section “Do we know what causes Ewing tumors?”), they are not inherited.
Ewing tumors are much more common among whites (either non-Hispanic or Hispanic). They are less common among Asian Americans and are extremely rare among African Americans. The reason for this is not known.
These cancers are slightly more common in males than in females.
Ewing tumors can occur at any age, but they are most common in teens and are less common among young adults and young children. They are rare in older adults.
Last Medical Review: 09/18/2014
Last Revised: 02/04/2016