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Chondrosarcoma: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Oct 25, 2023

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Causes Of Chondrosarcoma

Symptoms Of Chondrosarcoma

Risk factors Of Chondrosarcoma

Diagnosis Of Chondrosarcoma

Treatment Of Chondrosarcoma

Surgery

Radiation therapy

Chemotherapy

Chondrosarcoma: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Chondrosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that usually begins in the bones, while it can also infrequently occur in the soft tissue next to bones. Chondrosarcoma typically affects the hip, shoulder, and pelvis. Rarely, it can happen in the bones of the spine.

The majority of chondrosarcomas grow slowly and may not show any symptoms at first. Due to their rapid growth and strong tendency to spread to other bodily areas, some rare types of cancer can be difficult to cure.

Surgery is the main therapeutic option for chondrosarcoma. Additional options include radiation therapy and chemotherapy.


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Causes Of Chondrosarcoma

It is uncertain what causes chondrosarcoma. Doctors believe that DNA mutations alter cells in ways that result in cancer. A cell's DNA contains instructions that instruct it what to do. The cell receives instruction to multiply quickly and to survive while other healthy cells would have perished. Tumor-forming cells are capable of proliferating and destroying healthy human tissue. Over time, cells can divide and spread (metastasize) to different areas of the body.

Symptoms Of Chondrosarcoma

Chondrosarcoma often grows slowly, thus symptoms could take time to appear. When they appear, chondrosarcoma symptoms and signs can include the following:

  • Increasing Pain
  • A swollen area or expanding bulge
  • Weakness or problems with bladder and bowel control if the cancer presses against the spinal cord

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Diagnosis Of Chondrosarcoma

The diagnosis of chondrosarcoma is made using the tests and methods listed below:

  • Physical examination: Your doctor may examine you and ask about your signs and symptoms to determine a more precise diagnosis.
  • Imaging examination: Imaging examinations include bone scans, CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays.
  • Removing a sample of tissue for examination (biopsy): A biopsy is the procedure used to obtain tissue that is considered suspicious. Doctors send the tissue to a lab for investigation to determine whether it is malignant.

How the biopsy sample is collected will depend on where the suspicious tissue is located. Careful planning is necessary to make sure the biopsy is done in a way that won't interfere with the planned operation to remove the cancer. For this reason, you should ask that your doctor refer you to a team of experts who have experience treating chondrosarcoma.

Treatment Of Chondrosarcoma

A common component of the treatment for chondrosarcoma is surgery to remove the malignancy. Alternative therapy may be recommended in specific situations. Your overall health, your preferences, the location and development rate of the disease, and if it has spread to other structures will all determine the best course of treatment for you.

Surgery

The goal of surgery is to remove the chondrosarcoma tumor together with a margin of healthy tissue surrounding it. The type of surgery you require depends on where your chondrosarcoma is located. Among the options are:

  • Using a scrape to remove the cancer from the bone. Small, slowly expanding chondrosarcomas in the arms and legs may occasionally require bone grafting to remove the cancerous cells. The surgeon may apply chemical or cold gas to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Bone cement or a bone graft can be used to repair the bone if necessary.
  • Removing the cancer and some of the healthy tissue that was nearby. In the majority of chondrosarcomas, more bone must be removed during treatment to completely eradicate the tumor. If an arm or leg has chondrosarcoma, it might be necessary to amputate the entire limb.

Surgeons try to save as much of the limb as they can while removing the malignancy. For example, the surgeon may remove the injured bone and replace or repair it during limb salvage surgery.

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Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses powerful energy beams from sources such as protons and X-rays to kill cancer cells. Lying on a table, a machine is positioned around you to target certain parts of your body with radiation during radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy could be suggested if surgery is not able to completely eradicate the cancer or if the chondrosarcoma is situated in a location that makes treatment more difficult. Radiation therapy is another option for controlling cancer that has spread to other bodily parts.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is rarely used to treat chondrosarcoma because the cancer often responds poorly to it. However, for rapidly growing chondrosarcomas, this treatment may be effective.

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