Chondrosarcoma is a rare type of sarcoma that develops in
the bones and soft tissues of the body. Most cases of chondrosarcoma begin in
the bones, while a smaller number develop in the soft tissues away from the
bones. This sarcoma is most often found to affect middle-aged and older adults.
- Chondrosarcoma is a type of tumor that forms in
the bones or soft tissue.
- Signs and symptoms of chondrosarcoma include
redness and swelling at the site of the tumor, as well as limping or decreased
use of the affected limb.
- Diagnosis of chondrosarcoma can come from a
number of tests such as x-rays, MRI, and CT scans, as well as biopsy. Read more
on these tests below.
diagnose chondrosarcoma, your doctor may have you take one or more of the
Test. An X-ray image is recommended to examine a lump in question, and may be
followed by an X-ray of your chest to check if the chondrosarcoma has spread to
your lungs. These tests may reveal abnormalities that your healthcare providers
are searching for.
Tomography (CT) Scan. CT scans are X-ray images most useful for detecting if a chondrosarcoma
has formed in the chest, abdomen, or the retroperitoneum.
Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan. An MRI scan uses radio waves and strong magnets instead of X-rays to
take pictures of the body. A computer translates the patterns into a very
detailed image of parts of the body in question. MRI scans take longer than CT
scans – usually around an hour.
Tissue Sample. A biopsy removes tissue or cells to be checked by a
pathologist under a microscope. Results from a biopsy help determine if
abnormal cells are cancer. Your doctor may perform this procedure in a variety of ways including fine
needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy and core needle biopsy. Ask your provider
about your specific type of biopsy to learn more.
Once chondrosarcoma has been diagnosed, you have options for
- Surgery. This
is the most common treatment for chondrosarcoma. If the chondrosarcoma is
located in a limb, a procedure will be done to attempt removing the sarcoma
without the limb. In some cases, amputation may be necessary.
Therapy. It is common for patients to use radiation therapy to kill any
remaining cancer cells following a surgery.
This treatment is less common for treating chondrosarcoma, but it may be
used if the bone cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Read more about surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
treatments on their individual treatment pages.
The factors that affect prognosis, or chance of recovery,
are different before and after treatment.
Before treatment, prognosis can depend on factors such as:
- Whether tumor has spread to lymph nodes.
- Where in the body the tumor started.
- Whether the tumor formed in the bone or in soft
- How large the tumor is when diagnosed.
After treatment, prognosis can depend on factors such as:
- Whether the tumor was completely removed by
the tumor responds to radiation therapy or chemotherapy.