What is Chondrosarcoma?
Chondrosarcoma is a malignant (cancerous) tumor, typically found in the cartilage cells of the femur, arm, pelvis, knee, and spine. Rarely, this cancer may affect the ribs and other areas.
Chondrosarcoma also can originate at the skull base from the cartilage between the clivus and the petrous bone. This is called petro-clival synchondrosis.
As with all cancers, the prognosis or outcome depends upon how large the tumor is and whether it has spread to distant structures.
Chondrosarcoma most often occurs in people between 50 and 70 years old. It rarely affects people younger than 20. Males and females are at equal risk of developing chondrosarcoma.
Symptoms can include a large lump or mass on a bone, pressure surrounding the mass, or severe pain. Symptoms of chondrosarcoma of the skull base are neurological, and may include headaches, as well as vision or hearing disturbances.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for chondrosarcoma of the skull base is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
- No incisions to heal
- No disfigurement
- Faster recovery time