Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Ewing Sarcoma


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is Ewing sarcoma. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how Ewing sarcoma will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


When it comes to standardized exams, each topic has its own “code” marked by key buzzwords, lab findings, clues, etc. If you are well versed in this code you will be able to more quickly identify the condition that is being discussed, and get the right answer on the exam you are taking. Below is the “code” for Ewing sarcoma

  • Young child is the classic patient 
  • Mid-thigh pain
  • Appearance on imaging:
    • Mid-diaphoseal/mid shaft lesion 
    • Moth eaten appearance is a common buzzword 

Question # 1

A 11 year old caucasian male is brought to the pediatrician by his mother because he has been experiencing knee pain. He has had very severe pain in his right knee for the past 4 days. The pain appears to be so bad that he is now refusing to walk. The child explains that his knee ‘hurts all the time” and that it is not relieved by using ibuprofen. There is no past history of trauma. The child’s past medical history is unremarkable. The child’s temperature is 99.6°F, and his vitals are otherwise unremarkable. A physical exam reveals an unremarkable knee however when the right hip is palpated it elicits right knee pain. Labs are as follows:

  • WBC: 13
  • Hemoglobin: 9.5
  • Platelets: 205
  • ESR: 42

An X-ray of the knee shows a mid shaft lesion. There is onion skinning and central lytic lesion, which appears to have a moth eaten appearance and some extension into the soft tissue. What is the diagnosis in this child? 

Explanation # 1

Child + bone cancer + midshaft location = Ewing sarcoma

Question # 2


Explanation # 2


Many questions on standardized exams go beyond simply recognizing the underlying topic. Often there are specific testable facts regarding some aspect of the topic’s pathophysiology/management/clinical implications that are commonly asked. Some of these are listed below:





Page Updated: 03.15.2017