Chondrosarcoma is an uncommon type of cancer that begins in cartilage around bones.

Chondrosarcoma most often affects adults older than 40. Though chondrosarcoma can affect any bone, it most often occurs in the hipbones and thighbones.

Read more about bone cancer.

Why choose Mayo Clinic for chondrosarcoma

  • Teamwork. At Mayo Clinic, surgeons who specialize in bone and soft tissue tumors (orthopedic oncologists) work with plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, rehabilitation experts, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and specialized pathologists to form a multidisciplinary team to treat chondrosarcoma. Other professionals are included as needed.
  • Experience. Because chondrosarcoma is uncommon, not all doctors are experienced in treating this form of cancer. Doctors at Mayo Clinic have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating chondrosarcoma.
  • A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with chondrosarcoma includes a variety of surgery techniques, chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Chondrosarcoma is treated by experienced specialists in oncology, radiation oncology, orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and other specialists as needed.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Chondrosarcoma is treated by experienced specialists in oncology, radiation oncology, orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and other specialists as needed.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Chondrosarcoma is treated by experienced specialists in orthopedic oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and other specialists as needed.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Tests and procedures used to diagnose chondrosarcoma include:

  • Imaging tests. An X-ray may identify a suspicious area of bone for further examination. Other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT), may offer additional information.
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). Doctors can confirm a diagnosis of chondrosarcoma by removing a sample of suspicious tissue with a needle or a scalpel and testing it in a lab.

    A biopsy must be performed in a certain way, so that it doesn't negatively impact the ability to remove the cancer during a later operation. For this reason, many doctors recommend that the surgeon who does the biopsy should be the same surgeon who will do the operation to remove the cancer.

    Mayo Clinic pathologists are experts at diagnosing rare tumors, including chondrosarcoma. Because chondrosarcoma is uncommon, specially trained pathologists with experience diagnosing this type of cancer are essential to obtaining a correct diagnosis.

Treatments for chondrosarcoma include:

  • Surgery. During an operation to treat chondrosarcoma, surgeons work to remove the cancer and a small margin of healthy tissue around it. The type of surgery you undergo will depend on the location of your chondrosarcoma.

    When possible, surgeons work to remove the cancer, while avoiding amputation and maintaining your ability to function. Many specialized techniques are available to achieve this, such as cutting and freezing (cryoablation) the affected tissue.

    Larger and more aggressive cancers may require amputation of the affected limb.

  • Rehabilitation therapy. Before and after surgery, specialists will work with you to maintain or regain function of your affected limb. If you have undergone amputation, specialists can fit you with prosthetics to help you regain the ability to go about your daily tasks.
  • Other treatments. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, are generally not effective for chondrosarcoma because it's typically a very slow-growing cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy target cells that grow very quickly. These other treatments may be useful if your chondrosarcoma is a more aggressive form of this cancer.

Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers are studying new ways to diagnose and treat chondrosarcoma. Research includes investigations in orthopedic surgery.

Cancer research is conducted in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on chondrosarcoma on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Feb. 06, 2014