How Many People and Which Age Groups are Affected by Ewing's Sarcoma?

This information has been written for patients, their families and friends and the general public to help you understand more about and raise awareness of who gets Ewing's sarcoma.

The study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why, is called epidemiology (EPPY-dee-mee-oll-oh-jee).

  • In the general population in Europe each year, there are slightly less than two cases of Ewing's sarcoma diagnosed per million people (1.90 / 1,000,000). This is known as the incidence rate. In total, there are fewer than 100 cases of Ewing's sarcoma diagnosed in the UK each year.

  • In the Republic of Ireland in the five years 2004 - 2008, there were 26 cases of Ewing's sarcoma registered.

  • In the USA, the incidence rate is higher than the European rate at 2.9 cases per million people.

  • The peak incidence (between 10 and 20 years) of Ewing's sarcoma corresponds with peak growth periods.

  • Ewing's can occur at any age but it is very rare in people over the age of 30.

  • The average age of patients with Ewing's sarcoma is 15 years. See Figure 1.

  • Ewing's sarcoma is often thought of as a childhood cancer but research has shown that just over half (56%) of Ewing's sarcoma patients diagnosed in the UK are 15 years of age or older. Therefore, Ewing's sarcoma is equally a disease that affects adolescents and young adults as well as children. See Figure 1.

  • The incidence rate for Ewing's sarcoma has remained relatively stable over the past 30 years.

  • Ewing's sarcomas make up around 39% of the primary bone cancers diagnosed in young people in the UK.

  • Overall, Ewing's sarcoma occurs more often in males compared to females. However, in the 0-14 age group, males and females appear to be equally affected.

  • Ewing's sarcoma accounts for around 1.5 % of all childhood cancers.

  • Survival rates for Ewing's sarcoma have slightly improved over the past 30 years.

Figure 1. Incidence Rates of Ewing's Sarcoma in Northern England Based on Registrations Between 1981 and 2002 (BCRT Funded Research (Eyre et al., 2010)).

Last reviewed: October 2010; Version: 1.1
Review due: October 2011

The authors and reviewers of this information are committed to producing reliable, accurate and up to date content reflecting the best available research evidence, and best clinical practice. We aim to provide unbiased information free from any commercial conflicts of interest. This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. BCRT can answer questions about primary bone cancers, including treatments and research but we are unable to offer specific advice about individual patients. If you are worried about any symptoms please consult your doctor.

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