Chordoma is a rare cancer of the spine’s connective tissue. It can occur anywhere along the vertebral column — from the base of the skull to the tailbone (sacrum). In most cases, chordomas are slow growing tumors. Symptoms can include head, neck, or lower back pain, changes in vision or speech, and a lump or pain in the lower back. Chordomas require surgical treatment to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Chordoma is a type of cancer that mostly 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 tailbone (sacral) chordomas may not appear until the tumor is big enough.
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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