Ewing Sarcoma Diagnosis
The first sign of Ewing sarcoma may be pain or swelling in the arms, legs, chest, back or trunk. Signs of Ewing sarcoma may be mistaken for a sports injury. Other signs may include a lump that feels warm, a fever, or a bone that breaks for no known reason.
As part of the evaluation, imaging studies may include the following. Sometimes these tests may require the patient to drink a contrast solution or get an injection of contrast dye so the image can be seen more clearly.
- X-ray. This quick test shows structures inside your body, especially your bones, and can usually identify a bone tumor.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan combines a series of X-ray views to produce cross-sectional images of bones and soft tissue. All CT scanners at Mayo Clinic use spiral CT technology (an X-ray tube revolves around the patient) which rapidly creates detailed pictures.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses magnetic field and radio waves to created detailed pictures of your organs and tissues. MRI can help doctors figure out the extent of the tumor, whether blood vessels or nerves are involved, help plan surgery or radiation therapy, and also help follow up on treatment.
- Bone scan. This test uses a small amount of radiation to detect bone loss, injury or infection not seen on an X-ray. It can help see if Ewing sarcoma has spread (metastasized) throughout the skeleton.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. A PET scan also uses radioactive material and creates images of changes in the body's cells as they use energy to grow. It helps identify Ewing sarcoma tumors, whether they have spread throughout the body, and the response to treatment.
Doctors will also remove small samples of the suspected tumor for examination (biopsy). A pathologist will look at the cells under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present. A bone marrow biopsy may be needed to help doctors find out if the cancer has spread to the bone marrow.
Read more about CT scan, MRI, PET, biopsy and bone marrow biopsy on MayoClinic.com.