Mayo Clinic's approach

Mayo Clinic experts are equipped with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Cancer surgeons who specialize in bone and soft tissue tumors (orthopedic oncologists) lead the care team for most people with chondrosarcomas. Medical oncologists, rehabilitation specialists and other surgeons commonly come together to form a multidisciplinary team to care for those with chondrosarcomas.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

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. People who seek care at Mayo Clinic have access to a wide variety of treatments, including experimental treatments.

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 chondrosarcomas are uncommon, specially trained pathologists with experience diagnosing this type of cancer are essential to obtaining a correct diagnosis.

Treatments for chondrosarcoma include:

  • Surgery. Surgery is the primary treatment for chondrosarcomas. During an operation to treat a chondrosarcoma, surgeons work to remove the cancer and a 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. 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, 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. But these other treatments may be useful if your chondrosarcoma is a more-aggressive form of this cancer.

Mayo Clinic also offers comprehensive treatment programs that include related services, such as palliative care. Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. At Mayo Clinic, palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support that complements your ongoing care.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specially trained professionals. Palliative care teams aim to improve the quality of life for people with cancer and their families. This form of care is offered alongside curative or other treatments you may be receiving.

Nationally recognized expertise

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.

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.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Expertise and rankings

Because chondrosarcomas are uncommon, not all doctors are experienced in treating this form of cancer. Doctors at Mayo Clinic have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating chondrosarcomas.

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

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

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.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Aug. 11, 2017
References
  1. Van Gompel JJ, et al. Chordoma and chondrosarcoma. The Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2015;48:501.
  2. Bone cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 10, 2016.
  3. Gelderblom AJ, et al. Chondrosarcoma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  4. Longo DL, et al., eds. Soft tissue and bone sarcomas and bone metastases. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  5. Nota SPFT, et al. The identification of prognostic factors and survival statistics of conventional central chondrosarcoma. Sarcoma. 2015;2015:1.
  6. Rose PS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2016.