• Chondrosarcoma

    (Cartilage Cancer; Cancer of the Cartilage)

    Definition

    Chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer. It grows in cartilage cells in the body. Cartilage is connective tissue.
    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.
    Cartilage
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    Causes

    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.

    Risk Factors

    Certain factors seem to be common among individuals who develop chondrosarcoma. These include:
    • Enchondroma—a non-cancerous 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

    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 does not improve with rest
    • Pain that gradually worsens over time and may last for years

    Diagnosis

    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:
    You may need to have pictures taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:

    Treatment

    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

    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.

    Radiation Therapy

    With radiation therapy, high energy x-rays may be used to target and kill cancer cells.

    Other Therapies

    Drugs that kill tumor cells may be used. The use of chemotherapy may depend on the type of chondrosarcoma that you have.

    Prevention

    There are no current guidelines to prevent chondrosarcoma because the cause is unknown.

    RESOURCES

    Boston Children's Hospital http://www.childrenshospital.org

    National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca

    HealthLink BC http://www.healthlinkbc.ca

    References

    Chow WA. Update on chondrosarcomas. Curr. Opin. Oncol. 2007;19(4):371-376.

    DeGroot H. Chondrosarcoma. Bone Tumor website. Available at: http://www.bonetumor.org/tumors/pages/page39.html. Accessed June 18, 2015.

    Lewis VO. What’s new in musculoskeletal oncology. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007;89(6):1399-1407.

    What is chondrosarcoma? The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative website. Available at: http://sarcomahelp.org/chondrosarcoma.html. Updated October 2012. Accessed June 18, 2015.

    Revision Information

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