Chondrosarcoma Treatment

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Chondrosarcoma grows in bone cartilage. Cartilage cushions your joints and supports your bones. This kind of bone cancer shows up as a tumor in your femur, arm, pelvis, knee, and spine. Treatment usually means surgery to remove the tumor.

Treating Chondrosarcoma at UVA Health

Chondrosarcomas tend to grow slowly. They don't respond to chemo or radiation, though. Most cases require surgery.

At UVA Health, we have cancer experts who specialize in bone and the musculoskeletal system. Not every hospital offers this level of expertise. It means that we can do more than remove your chondrosarcoma. We can also reconstruct and repair whatever damage surgery may cause.

Types of Bone Tumor Removal

How big of an operation you need depends on the location and size of your tumor. Surgeries include:

  • Amputation - when the only way to treat your cancer is to remove an appendage or limb
  • Limb salvage surgery - we avoid amputation by taking out just a part of your bone
  • Less invasive procedures - sometimes we can scrape the tumor out of your cartilage to lessen damage to your body

We reconstruct bones after tumor removal, as needed.

Cancer in Cartilage Cells

This type of cancer grows in the cartilage cells, the connective tissue, in the body. Chondrosarcoma is typically found in the femur, arm, pelvis, knee and spine. Gregory Domson, MD, explains this bone cancer and the treatment options. View chondrosarcoma transcript.

Risks & Symptoms

People who develop chondrosarcoma often already have:

  • 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

Chondrosarcoma 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

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. The sooner we find chondrosarcoma, the better we can treat it.

We'll need to perform tests and scans to see if you have this form of cartilage cancer, like:

  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET/CT scan