Beginning the Chondrosarcoma Journey

Beginning the Chondrosarcoma Journey



Chondrosarcoma is not contagious. It cannot be passed on to another person by exposure to a chondrosarcoma patient. Although scientists are not certain what causes chondrosarcoma, a number of factors may put a person at increased risk.

Certain hereditary or genetic conditions are a bit more likely to develop Chondrosarcoma than those who do not have these conditions. Ollier's disease, and Maffucci Syndrome are caused by gene mutations and are not hereditary. Multiple Osteochondromatosis (AKA Multiple Exostoses) is hereditary.

People affected by these conditions are more susceptible because they already have existing benign bone tumors (sometimes mistakenly called bone spurs) which have a chance of becoming malignant. People with these conditions, who experience sudden growth spurts, or increases in hormone production, such as pregnancy, have an increased possibility of a primary benign bone tumor changing into a Chondrosarcoma.

There are other rare conditions which are more likely to pre-dispose to Osteosarcoma. But, some cases are also known to have developed Chondrosarcoma. These are the following.

Retinoblastoma, which is a cancer of the eye, often affects children much more than adults.

Li-Fraumeni, a hereditary syndrome, runs in families where a high percentage of different kinds of cancers occur. These families can be tested. If they do so, and learn which family members test positive, they can be followed closely by their physicians. If they develop a cancer, it can be detected earlier than if they do not receive regular check ups.

Rothmund-Thompson syndrome is a rare condition in itself and there are some occasions of an extremely rare occurrence of Chondrosarcoma. 

Paget's Disease, is a non-cancerous condition characterized by abnormal development of new bone cells in which adults are at increased risk for osteosarcoma or chondrosarcoma.

There are Chondrosarcoma patients who do not have any of these above conditions. 

Some researchers have reported that a previous traumatic injury to the bone have been a possible suspected cause for Chondrosarcoma, but so far this idea is not entirely accepted since there is a controversy and no universal agreement among all sarcoma specialists, though there are often medical articles discussing Chondrosarcoma developing at sites of previous healed fracture.

Some evidence exists that environmental exposure can pre-dispose a person to chondrosarcoma. An example of this known possibility is exposure to known carcinogenic chemicals. There is a question of gardening chemicals such as Agent Orange, also known as Dioxin.

People who have previously had radiation are prone to develop Chondrosarcoma, also.

Recently, chromosomes in the genes have been shown to have specific locations where the genetic information for chondrosarcoma resides. Continuing research of the genes and how the proteins encode for them will give tremendous insight into the growth of cells. 

This information is important since chondrosarcoma is a problem with the growth of cells. Understanding the gene and the function of its protein might eventually provide the knowledge leading to better treatment. Some researchers feel there actually may be hopes that genetic manipulations could treat or prevent chondrosarcoma which may be possible in the future.

The gene mapping studies will serve as the basis for the testing of patients at risk for chondrosarcoma. Information from this kind of testing could lead to the prevention of the development of Chondrosarcoma. And it is hoped that physicians could be equipped to perform such tests in the future. 

This update of September 26 2012:

A pair of genes have been found that show up inside of chondrosarcoma tumors. Researchers looked in cells from many different chondrosarcoma tumor samples and found that these two genes, called IDH1 and IDH2, were mutated. 

This shows that they are involved with changing healthy cells into malignant ones. 

The genes are in the tumors themselves and have nothing to do with genetic inheritance from ones family. 

This is not the case with all chondrosarcoma tumors, but with many of them. 

Further research will provide the opportunity to create a drug which can target and attack the mutations. 

These mutations also show up in some other rare cancers, too.

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pbk911 said...

Hi Elizabeth!
Thanks for all your work putting this together. You are truly dedicated.

On topic: Im curious if any readers diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma ever lived on base housing in Camp Lejeune between 1957-1987, during which time our water was contaminated with extremely high levels of TCE, TPE and Benzine. Ive never been exposed to any of the viruses thought to cause chondrosarcoma and am looking for others exposed to the only cause I can attribute to my developing this cancer.

I hope you are well and God Bless you for your work educating people.

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Thank you kindly. Regarding your question about Camp Lejeune and possibility of chondrosarcoma developing because of the environmental damage there, I cannot substantiate a direct link, though I have previously been in contact with a chondrosarcoma patient who was once stationed there. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with him. I lived very close to "Love Canal" chemical dump at Niagara Falls when I was growing up. So, perhaps comparing the substances between Camp
Lejeune and Love Canal might reveal interesting correlations.

teddytrump said...

Hi Elisabeth,

I'm very glad that I'm not alone facing this.. I have ostechondroma and turned to chondrosacroma in 4 years.. I have done 3 times surgical.. The first time in 2009, second was in 2011 and the third and fourth was in 2012.. I have it on my spine..and the cancer made me can't walk (disability).. I just wondered why in 2012 the cancer was so fast in growth.. Is there any mistake to my food ? I'm vegetarian in 2012, but it was the same..

My mom said , the radiaton from LED laptop caused this, is it true? Or maybe sleep in late time can caused this? Most of my sleep time is between 12Am to 3 Am.. I don't have a clue.. And the last time my doctor give up to take surgical anymore for me, and he recommended another doctor. He said I must replace the bone with some kind of metal (I don't know how to spell it) the question is, if I have replaced the bone, will the chondrosacroma will come again?

Please give me the answer, I was really confused what to do next..

By the way thanks so much for this great site..

Elizabeth Munroz said...

I'm sorry to learn of your sarcoma issues. Using an LED laptop computer would not cause chondrosarcoma. If that were true, everyone who used a laptop computer would have chondrosarcoma. The food we eat does not cause chondrosarcoma. There are plenty of people who do not eat a vegetarian diet who get chondrosarcoma. And there are plenty of people who have a vegetarian diet who get it, too. Sleeping or not sleeping does not cause chondrosarcoma. The causes of so many cancer have to do with mutations of the cells deep within the body. That is the simplest way I can explain it, for now. If you have surgical implant of metal to replace the bone that has chondrosarcoma, it cannot grow back onto the metal. If there are chondrosarcoma cells still in the body, then it can return where the cells are located. It is difficult to determine if the surgeon has left cells in the body when removing tumor. After all, they are microscopic and the doctor can only do his best to make sure he has removed the whole tumor based upon what he can see.

AmandaR said...

I was recently diagnosed with a 12 cm tumor in my rt femur bone. They are having a hard time determining a final diagnosis. They are not sure if it is a very large enchondroma or a low grade chondrosarcoma. I have had x-rays, mri, ct scan, and a bone scan. CT scan showed some scalloping of the bone, bone scan showed hot spot. I am scheduled to back in 3 months to have more xrays done to see if there is any growth, I am concerned and confused at the questioning of the diagnosis because all of the research that I have done and test results suggest a chondrosarcoma. Pain, the size being larger than 5cm, showing up on bone scan and the scalloping of the bone, I also have a family history of bone cancers. Should I be concerned about waiting, or is my Dr just giving me time to comprehend everything and allowing me to get through the holidays before a major surgery is planned. I am just very confused and I want it out. Thanks for any advice you can give.

Elizabeth Munroz said...

It is my understanding that there is no inheritable component regarding chondrosarcoma. Though I suppose there could be a coincidental occurence with other family members if there were the heritable condition called Multiple Exostoses as there is a higher propensity for CS in people with that condition. You haven't stated whether the doctor is an Orthopedic Oncologist at a major medical center. I can't speak for the doctor regarding getting through the holidays. But, it has been my experience that there have been surgeries for chondrosarcoma scheduled during this time of year. If it were me and I was uncomfortable with this plan I would consider getting a second opinion from an Orthopedic Oncologist associated with a large medical center.

ronay crompton said...

Hi i have just been told i May have a sarcoma,Last year i had my third hip replacement in 10ys.I Sufferd a massive Fracture durning the op,i Woke up and My knee was durning and in the following weeks it got worse.I Had an old Mhe lump on my knee regrew then caved in,then My other knee also had an old mhe on that knee, its started to grow its the size of a golf Ball and then saying its a sarcoma.I am sure the Operation caused this,what Do think????????? ronay

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Hello Ronay,
Oh! It sounds like you've had a very difficult time! I'm so sorry! I have MHE also. And chondrosarcoma developed in my pelvis. I am wondering why the fracture occurred during surgery. Do you have osteoporosis? (I have that, too). To answer your question: I have not read of anything like this to be the cause of chondrosarcoma. Now, if the CS were to show up within the fracture area, this would be more likely to be related. But, then that would be if you already had CS in the hip. Do you have a copy of your surgical report and any pathology that was done? If not, request copies from the hospital where you had the operation. If there was any sign of unexpected abnormalities at that time, it would show up in those records. Regarding the knees, I hope you are seeing a qualified Orthopedic Oncologist for a second opinion. Please contact me by email if you like. elizablest at gmail dot com

Liz Palliser said...

Hi Elizabeth,
My mother in law has been diagnosed with a dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma in her hip which had already spread to her lungs upon diagnosis. She always had lower pain and it turned out that was from pressure on her discs from the tumor. My husband also has lower back pain and I have asked him to get an MRI. Have you ever seen a hereditary link in dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas?

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Liz, the answer is no. The only unlikely possibility would be if your Mother-in-law has Multiple Hereditary Exostoses, and so does your husband. Chondrosarcoma would not be inherited. But, the possibility that two people who have MHE could both have chondrosarcoma would be a coincidence. Just the same, if we don't go see our doctors when we are having symptoms, letting things go only makes things worse. Seeing the doctor, having tests to find out what's going on is wise, even if it turns out to just be a slipped disk.