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A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chances 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 and alcohol 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 cancers that tend to affect children and teens, including Ewing tumors (Ewing sarcomas).
Studies of children with Ewing tumors haven't found clear links to radiation, chemicals, or any other environmental exposures.
Some types of cancer tend to run in some families. But genetic changes passed down within families do not seem to be an important risk factor for Ewing tumors. Although most of the gene changes that cause Ewing tumors are known (see What Causes Ewing Tumors?), these changes are not inherited from a parent.
Ewing tumors are rare overall, but they are even less common among African Americans and Asian Americans than they are among White individuals (either non-Hispanic or Hispanic). The reason for this is not known, although it might be related to differences in certain genes among different ethnic groups.
Ewing tumors are slightly more common in males than in females.
People of any age can develop Ewing tumors , but they are most common in older children and teens and are less common among young adults and young children. They are rare in older adults.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Anderson ME, Dubois SG, Gebhart MC. Chapter 89: Sarcomas of bone. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2020.
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 October 29, 2020.
National Cancer Institute. Ewing Sarcoma Treatment (PDQ). 2020. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/bone/hp/ewing-treatment-pdq on October 29, 2020.
Last Revised: May 25, 2021
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