(Cartilage Cancer; Cancer of the Cartilage)
Chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer. It grows in cartilage cells in the body. Cartilage is the connective tissue. Most bones are created from cartilage. It is found in many areas of the body.
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.
The condition is uncommon. It is the second most common type of bone cancer]]> . It most often strikes between the ages of 50-70. Chondrosarcoma rarely strikes individuals younger than 20.
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.
As with all cancers, the prognosis or outcome depends upon how large the tumor is and whether it has spread to distant structures.
Certain factors seem to be common among individuals who develop chondrosarcoma, these include:
- Enchondroma—a benign bone tumor often found in the hands
- Osteochondroma]]> —excess cartilage or bone found at the end of a growth plate
- Multiple osteochondromas (bone tumors)
- Ollier's disease, which causes a group of enchondromas
- Maffucci's syndrome, which causes a combination of multiple endochondromas and various tumors
Symptoms will vary from person to person. The location and severity of the tumor will affect them. The most common symptoms of chondrosarcoma include:
- Large lump or mass on a bone
- Pressure surrounding the mass
- Pain that worsens at night
- Pain that responds to anti-inflammatory pain relievers
- Pain that does not improve with rest
- Pain that gradually worsens over time and may last for years
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
- Biopsy]]> —removal of a sample of tissue to check for a tumor (to diagnose a malignancy)
- ]]>X-ray]]> —a test that uses radiation to take images of tissues, bones, and cartilage
- ]]>CT scan]]> —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of internal organs, bones, and cartilage
- ]]>MRI scan]]> —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of internal organs, bones, and cartilage
- ]]>PET scan]]> —a test to evaluate the metabolic activity of tissues.
- Blood tests—to determine abnormalities in the blood
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:
This may be used to remove the tumor.
High energy x-rays are used to target and kill cancer cells.
Drugs that kill tumor cells may be used. ]]>Chemotherapy]]> is considered investigational in the management of chondrosarcomas.
Physical therapy may be used to help the affected area heal following surgery.
Children's Hospital Boston
The Mayo Clinic
BC Cancer Agency
British Columbia Ministry of Health
Bone disorders: chondrosarcoma. The University of Virginia Health Systems website. Available at: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/adult_bone/chondrosar.cfm . Accessed June 26, 2007.
Chow WA. Update on chondrosarcomas. Curr. Opin. Oncol . 2007;19:371-376.
DeGroot H. Chondrosarcoma. Bonetumor.org website. Available at: http://www.bonetumor.org/tumors/pages/page39.html . Accessed June 26, 2007.
DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed102.ebscohost.com/Detail.aspx?id=116911 .
Hunt KJ, Randall RL. Chondrosarcoma of bone. The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative website. Available at: http://www.sarcomahelp.org/Newsletters/V03N01/Chondrosarcoma/chondrosarcoma.htm . Accessed June 26, 2007.
Lewis VO. What’s new in musculoskeletal oncology. J Bone Joint Surg Am . 2007;89:1399-1407.
Last reviewed September 2010 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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