Chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer. It grows in cartilage cells in the body. Cartilage is
This cancer is typically found in the cartilage cells of the femur, arm, pelvis, knee, and spine. Rarely, the ribs and other areas may also be affected.
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Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms. This is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors. They can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
The cause for these changes in the cells is unknown. It is likely to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Certain factors seem to be common among individuals who develop chondrosarcoma. These include: Enchondroma—a non-cancerous bone tumor often found in the handsOsteochondroma
—excess cartilage or bone found at the end of a growth plate
Multiple osteochondromas—bone tumorsOllier's disease, which causes a group of enchondromasMaffucci's syndrome, which causes a combination of multiple endochondromas and various tumors
The most common symptoms of chondrosarcoma include: Large lump or mass on a bonePressure surrounding the massPain that worsens at nightPain that does not improve with restPain that gradually worsens over time and may last for years
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
You may need tests of your bodily fluids and tissue. This can be done with: BiopsyBlood tests
You may need to have pictures taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with: X-rayCT scanMRI scanPET/CT scan
Treatment can vary based on your age, overall health, and stage of the disease. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include:
Surgery is the most effective way to remove the tumor. It is more effective than chemo-and radiation therapy. Physical therapy may be used to help the area heal after surgery.
With radiation therapy, high energy x-rays may be used to target and kill cancer cells.
Drugs that kill tumor cells may be used.
The use of
may depend on the type of chondrosarcoma that you have.
There are no current guidelines to prevent chondrosarcoma because the cause is unknown.
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DeGroot H. Chondrosarcoma. Bone Tumor website. Available at:
Accessed September 2016.
Lewis VO. What’s new in musculoskeletal oncology.
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What is chondrosarcoma? The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative website. Available at:
Updated October 2012. Accessed September 6, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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