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Chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in cartilage cells. Cartilage is the specialized, gristly connective tissue that is present in adults and the tissue from which most bones develop. Cartilage plays an important role in the growth process.

There are many different types of cartilage that are present throughout the body. Chondrosarcoma is a malignant type of bone cancer that primarily affects the cartilage cells of the femur (thighbone), arm, pelvis, knee, and spine. Although less frequent, other areas (such as the ribs) may be affected.

Chondrosarcoma is the second most common type of primary bone cancer. A primary bone cancer is one that originates from bone, as opposed to starting in another organ and then spreading to the bone. This type of cancer rarely affects individuals under age 20 and continues to rise until age 75. The incidence between males and females is equal.

Symptoms of chondrosarcoma may vary depending on the location of the tumor. The following are the most common symptoms of chondrosarcoma. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Large mass on the affected bone
  • Feeling of pressure around the mass
  • Pain that is usually worse at night and may be relieved by taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
  • Pain that is not usually relieved through rest
  • Pain that may be present for years but increases gradually over time

The goal for treatment of chondrosarcoma is to remove the mass and reduce the likelihood that it will return. Close follow-up with your physician may be necessary.