Chordoma is a rare sarcoma (connective tissue cancer) of the spine. It can occur anywhere along the vertebral column — from the base of the skull to the tailbone (sacral chordoma).
In most cases, chordomas are slow growing tumors, but tend to recur after treatment.
Chordoma is a type of cancer that typically affects middle aged and older adults.
There are no known environmental, dietary, or lifestyle risk factors.
Pain and neurologic changes are the most common symptoms of chordoma.
Symptoms of chordomas in the skull include:
Symptoms of chordomas of the spine and tailbone include:
Chordomas can be hard to treat because they are near critical structures in the body such as:
Chordoma treatment includes complex surgery, often with a multisurgeon team, to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
In some cases, doctors may also use radiation after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.
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