Chondrosarcoma can be classified in some of the following ways depending on location of the tumor in the body, and the type of cells in the tumor, as determined by the Pathologist within about two weeks of the surgery.
* Clear Cell (CCC) is commonly considered to be a low-grade subtype and less than 1% of chondrosarcoma.
* Conventional - (also known as central) is a low-grade conventional malignant cartilage-forming tumor and makes up approximately 90% of all chondrosarcomas
* Dedifferentiated - high grade sarcoma next to a, comprising 6-10% of all chondrosarcomas
* Extraskeletal Myxoid (EMC) is found in the extremities (5%)
* Juxtacortical (2%)
* Mesenchymal (2%)
* Peripheral - found on the surface of bone within the cartilaginous cap of a solitary chondroma. (15%)
* Secondary - due to pre-existing benign tumor
The following are other ways in which chondrosarcoma may be described.
1. Nonmetastatic Chondrosarcoma
The cancer is found only in the area where it started and has not spread to other parts of the body.
2. Metastatic chondrosarcoma
The cancer has spread from where it started to other parts of the body, in most cases, the lung.
Patients who have metastatic chondrosarcoma will rarely receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery to remove the cancer that has spread to the lungs.
3. Recurrent chondrosarcoma
The cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the area where it started. A recurrence is rarely found in another part of the body.
Treatment for recurrent chondrosarcoma depends on treatment received previously, the original biopsy staging results, the part of the body where the cancer has come back, and general condition of the patient. Amputation is sometimes necessary and life saving.
What is the possibility of recurrence? Once removed, chondrosarcoma can come back later, but may not immediately re-grow to a size large enough to be symptomatic or as noticeable of the original tumor. It is imperative to have follow-up appointments with the doctor in order to keep track of any further re-growth. Follow up should include scans. The distinction between a recurrence in the same location and recurrence in a different part of the body makes an important difference. A recurrence in the same location, or close to the original tumor is considered to be non-metastatic. A recurrence in a different part of body, usually the lungs, is considered metastatic chondrosarcoma, and more serious.
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