Chondrosarcoma is a type of sarcoma, or soft-tissue and bone cancer, that develops in the cartilage. Although chondrosarcoma can develop anywhere there is cartilage, the parts of the body it begins in most often are the shoulder bones, pelvis, and hipbone.
When a patient is diagnosed by an oncologist, that doctor will grade the chondrosarcoma. This means the doctor will assign a level, or histologic grade, to the cancer to indicate how aggressive or fast-growing it is. For instance, if it is low-grade (sometimes called grade 1), that means it is slow to develop. Intermediate-grade means it is growing at a rate that is neither slow nor fast. High-grade means the chondrosarcoma is aggressive and fast-growing.
The most commonly used treatment to remove chondrosarcoma is a surgical procedure performed by an orthopedic oncologist. This is because these tumors typically do not respond to other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
At University Orthopedic Surgeons, our dual-fellowship-trained oncologist, Dr. Anna Wallace, is uniquely qualified and skilled to treat any grade of chondrosarcoma, and when treating her patients, Dr. Wallace strives to completely remove the tumor while leaving as much healthy tissue intact as possible.
Build Your Knowledge of Chondrosarcoma and Oncology
If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed by an oncologist with chondrosarcoma, it can be helpful to build your knowledge about sarcomas and how they are treated. Here are some terms that can help you better understand sarcomas:
- Benign tumor: A tumor without cancer. A benign bone tumor is a noncancerous bone tumor.
- Bone cyst: A noncancerous type of fluid-filled tumor that is more common in children.
- Enchondroma: A type of cartilage tumor that is benign. Enchondromas can sometimes transform into chondrosarcomas.
- Fibrous dysplasia: A condition where fibrous tissue begins to grow and replace normal bone and marrow, which weakens the bone.
- Malignant bone tumor: A cancerous tumor that occurs in a hard structure such as bone or cartilage versus a soft tissue such as muscle or blood vessels.
- Ollier disease: A disease that causes multiple enchondromas (benign cartilage tumors) to develop.
- Oncology: The field of medicine focused on cancer, including how to prevent and treat it.
- Orthopedic oncology: The field of medicine focused on helping patients who have sarcoma, such as chondrosarcoma.
- Osteoblastoma: A noncancerous bone tumor that often develops in the spine.
- Osteochondroma: This is a type of noncancerous tumor that often affects the long bones in the legs.
- Osteosarcoma: The most common type of primary bone cancer. "Primary cancer" is a term used to describe the place where the cancer first developed.
- Soft-tissue sarcomas: These are malignant soft-tissue tumors, meaning they develop in the soft tissues of the body, such as a muscle or blood vessel.
- Sarcoma: An overall term for bone cancer or soft-tissue tumors that are malignant.
Exceptional Care at University Orthopedic Surgeons
Our years of experience and advanced training devoted to the care of orthopedic issues make us who we are, but our compassionate care of our patients is what makes us dedicated to you. Our orthopedic oncologist and her team at University Orthopedic Surgeons are here to improve the health and well-being of our community, treating patients dealing with the full range of bone diseases and conditions. They are also committed to staying up to date on new treatment advances so they can offer the very best to patients.
Dr. Anna Wallace and her orthopedic oncology team are fully equipped to treat the complete range of sarcomas, including chondrosarcoma, as well as noncancerous soft-tissue tumors and bone tumors. They are supported by our entire team of highly experienced nurses and other clinical staff and backed by our state-of-the-art orthopedic facility.
Since we understand coping with chondrosarcoma and navigating your appointments and care can be challenging, we remain committed to providing you with the orthopedic oncology care you need to excel.