Chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in cartilage cells. Cartilage is the specialized, gristly connective tissue that is present in adults and the tissue from which most bones develop. Cartilage plays an important role in the growth process. There are many different types of cartilage that are present throughout the body. Chondrosarcoma is a malignant type of bone cancer that primarily affects the cartilage cells of the femur (thighbone), arm, pelvis, and knee. Although less frequent, other areas (such as the ribs) may be affected.
Chondrosarcoma is the second most common type of primary bone cancer. A primary bone cancer is one that originates from bone, as opposed to starting in another organ and then spreading to the bone. This type of cancer rarely affects individuals under age 20 and continues to rise until age 75. The incidence between males and females is equal.
The exact cause of chondrosarcoma is not known. There may be a genetic or chromosomal component that predisposes certain individuals to this type of malignancy. Chondrosarcomas have been observed as a late consequence of radiation therapy for other cancers.
A risk factor is anything that may increase a person's chance of developing a disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. Different diseases have different risk factors.
Although these factors can increase a person's risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Some people with one or more risk factors never develop a disease, while others develop the disease and have no known risk factors.
But, knowing your risk factors to any disease can help to guide you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for the disease.
Most often, chondrosarcoma occurs from normal cartilage cells, but it may also stem from a preexisting benign (noncancerous) bone or cartilage tumor. The following is a list of some benign conditions that may be present when chondrosarcoma occurs:
Symptoms of chondrosarcoma may vary depending on the location of the tumor. The following are the most common symptoms of chondrosarcoma. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for chondrosarcoma may include the following:
Specific treatment for chondrosarcoma will be determined by your doctor based on:
The goal for treatment of chondrosarcoma is to remove the mass and reduce the likelihood that it will return. Close follow-up with your doctor may be necessary. Treatment may include:
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