A chondrosarcoma is a type of bone tumor composed of anaplastic cartilage cells.

Symptoms of a chondrosarcoma may include bone pain, a noticeable mass at the site of the tumor and leg pain.

There are two types of regular chondrosarcoma: primary and secondary. Primary bone tumors account for less than 1% of all malignant tumors, usually appear in children, and are due to an unknown cause. Most chondrosarcomas are secondary bone tumors, and usually arise from another benign bone tumor already present, such as an enchondroma or osteochondroma.

Treatment involves completely removing the tumor from the affected area. Most chondrosarcomas do not respond to radiation or chemotherapy, and the use of these treatments is limited. Removal of a tumor is often possible by surgery, and improves the prognosis dramatically -- of those who have their tumors completely removed, over 75% survive. In some rare cases it is necessary to amputate the limb containing the tumor.

Chondrosarcomas are often distinguished by three "grades", "grade 1" denoting the mildest form and "grade 3" the most agressive. The prognosis for chondrosarcoma patients depends on these grades. For those with "grade 1", the outlook is relatively upbeat, with an average 5-year survival rate of 90%. As the grades increase, survivorship decreases.

Chondrosarcomas are a little more likely to appear in men than in women, and some common sites where chondrosarcomas have been found are the pelvis, ribs, upper femur and shoulder.

There are three additional types of chondrosarcoma which vary slightly in prognosis and other factors. These are mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, clear cell chondrosarcoma and dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma.

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