Chondrosarcoma (patient information)
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Chondrosarcoma On the Web
A chondrosarcoma is a type of bone cancer, which occurs when normal cells in bone cartilage become abnormal and start to replicate at a very rapid rate. Chondrosarcomas can occur as part of a benign tumor that is also present. Most types of chondrosarcomas grow slowly and do not spread to other areas of the body.
What are the symptoms of Chondrosarcoma?
The symptoms of chondrosarcoma usually include pain and swelling in the area of the tumor. The pain can be intermittent, but overall it usually gets worse over time. The pain can get worse with exercise, or at night. The symptoms can also include a painful hard lump over the area of the disease. If the chondrosarcoma is in the skull bone, it can cause headaches.
What causes Chondrosarcoma?
Although the actual exact cause of chondrosarcoma is not known, there is thought to be certain genetic components that make chondrosarcoma more likely in certain individuals. Chondrosarcoma has also been seen to occur more frequently in persons who have had radiation therapy for other cancers.
Who is at highest risk?
Chondrosarcoma may arise from pervious benign cartilage tumors. Some of these tumors are:
- Enchondromas- a type of benign bone tumor that often occurs in the hands, but can also occur in other sites of the body.
- Osteochondromas- benign tumors that arise near the growth plate of the bone.
- Multiple exostoses - multiple overgrowths of cartilage that occur at the end of the growth plate.
- Ollier's disease- a disease causing multiple enchondromas.
- Maffucci's syndrome- a disease with multiple enchondromas and angiomas.
All diagnosis always involves the doctor taking a history and doing a physical examination. If chondrosarcoma is suspected, then an x-ray will then be done of the bone that may be diseased. Other tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis, such as a CT scan or an MRI. A biopsy may also be done where a sample of the diseased bone tissue is taken and looked at under a microscope.
The goal in treating chondrosarcoma is to remove the mass and to reduce the chance of it recurring. Treatments consist of surgery to remove the tumor, physical therapy to gain back strength and optimize the use of the limb after surgery, and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be required if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Where to find medical care for Chondrosarcoma?
Prevention of Chondrosarcoma
Preventing radiation exposure is a preventative measure for chondrosarcoma.
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Grading and staging of the tumor by your doctor with the use of biopsy, can help to determine your prognosis with the disease.