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 using tobacco 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 cancers that tend to affect children and teens, including Ewing tumors.

Studies of children with Ewing tumors have not found links to radiation, chemicals, or any other environmental exposures.

Some types of cancer 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 What Causes Ewing Tumors?), these changes are not inherited from a parent.

Race/ethnicity

Ewing tumors are rare overall, but they are much more common among whites (either non-Hispanic or Hispanic) than among Asian Americans or African Americans. The reason for this is not known.

Gender

These cancers are slightly more common in males than in females.

Age

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.

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Anderson ME, Randall RL, Springfield DS, Gebhart MC. Chapter 92: Sarcomas of bone. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2014.

DeLaney TF, Hornicek FJ, Bahrami A. Epidemiology, pathology and molecular genetics of the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors. UpToDate. Accessed at www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-pathology-and-molecular-genetics-of-the-ewing-sarcoma-family-of-tumors on February 27, 2018.

Last Medical Review: May 31, 2018 Last Revised: May 31, 2018

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