Ewing sarcoma occurs when cancer develops in bones or soft tissue. Most Ewing sarcoma tumors eventually cause a lump under the skin. These lumps are soft and may feel warm to the touch.

Ewing sarcoma is rare, affecting around one in 1 million people in the United States. It primarily affects children and teens but can also appear in adults.

Tumors from Ewing sarcoma develop in bone or soft tissue. Pain, swelling, and tenderness near the tumor are common, and a soft mass or lump often forms.

People may mistake Ewing sarcoma lumps for bruises or lipomas, which are benign fatty lumps. Ewing sarcoma lumps may be more noticeable in the arms or legs.

This article discusses Ewing sarcoma lumps, symptoms, outlook, and more.

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This type of cancer can develop in any bone or soft tissue. It most often occurs in the:

  • long bones of the arms and legs
  • pelvis
  • chest
  • spine

Soft tissue tumors generally develop in the torso and pelvis.

About 87% of Ewing sarcomas are bone tumors. When cancer develops in soft tissue, doctors call it extraosseous.

As an Ewing tumor grows, it can cause visible swelling or a lump under the skin. The lump may feel warm to the touch.

A lump from Ewing sarcoma is most visible on the arms or legs but can also appear on the torso or pelvis.

It can take longer for a lump in the torso or pelvis to become noticeable — it may be quite large by the time a person identifies it.

It can feel soft and grow to the size of a golf ball or larger over time. People may easily mistake these lumps for lipomas or bruises.

Not everyone who has a lump will have Ewing sarcoma. However, a person should still contact a doctor to rule it out.

The lump due to Ewing sarcoma may cause pain if it starts to press on nerves or muscles.

In particular, a tumor in the spine can cause back pain, weakness, numbness, or paralysis in the arms and legs. However, this is rare.

There are several other symptoms that can be caused by Ewing sarcoma. For example:

A 5-year relative survival rate explains the probability that a person with a certain type and stage of cancer will live for 5 years after diagnosis, compared with those without the disease.

Overall, the 5-year relative survival rates for all stages of Ewing sarcoma are as follows. The American Cancer Society (ACS) collected this data between 2010 and 2016.

SEER stageStage description Survival rate
Localized Ewing tumor has not spread to other areas. 82%
RegionalEwing sarcoma has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes. 70%
Distant Ewing sarcoma has spread to distant organs, such as the lungs. 39%
All SEER stages combined The average of all of the above stages combined. 62%

A person should be aware that these numbers give a rough idea of survival rates and do not take everything into account.

A person should contact a doctor for in-depth insight into their individual case and outlook.

Below are answers to some questions people commonly ask about Ewing sarcoma lumps.

Is an Ewing sarcoma lump hard or soft?

The lump caused by Ewing sarcoma is soft to the touch and may feel warm. Pain and swelling may occur near the lump.

Is Ewing sarcoma a solid tumor?

Ewing sarcoma is a type of cancer that grows as a solid tumor in bone or soft tissue. Most tumors begin in the long bones of the leg, although they can also develop in the:

  • arms
  • chest
  • pelvis
  • other parts of the body

Sarcoma cells can break away from the tumor and travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. New areas of cancer can develop if this occurs.

Can you feel Ewing sarcoma?

Most people with Ewing sarcoma will feel pain in the area the tumor is present.

It may also be possible to feel a lump or swelling created by the tumor in the soft tissue. Tumor lumps in the arms and legs may be more noticeable.

Ewing sarcoma is a type of cancer that causes a tumor to grow in bone or soft tissue. It primarily affects children and teens but can also appear in adults.

This cancer often appears in the long bones of the leg but can occur in the arms, torso, or pelvis. When it occurs in soft tissue, doctors refer to it as extraosseous.

Pressure caused by the tumor into the surrounding soft tissues can create a lump under the skin. It may feel warm and soft to the touch.

Swelling and pain may surround the area of the lump. Often, these are more noticeable in the arms or legs.