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Information About Bone Cancer: Chondrosarcoma

What is chondrosarcoma?

Chondrosarcoma is the second most common type of bone cancer, occurring in about 26 percent of all bone cancer cases, according to the American Cancer Society. Chondrosarcoma 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, knee, and spine. 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 verses another organ. This type of cancer rarely affects individuals under age 20 and is most common between the ages of 50 and 70. The incidence between males and females is equal.

What causes chondrosarcoma?

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.

What is a risk factor?

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.

What are the risk factors for chondrosarcoma?

Most often, chondrosarcoma occurs from normal cartilage cells, but it may also stem from a preexisting benign (non-cancerous) bone or cartilage tumor. The following is a list of some benign conditions that may be present when chondrosarcoma occurs:

What are the symptoms of chondrosarcoma?

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:

How is chondrosarcoma diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for chondrosarcoma may include the following:

Treatment for chondrosarcoma:

Specific treatment for chondrosarcoma will be determined by your physician 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 physician may be necessary. Treatment may include:

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