Chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer that forms in bone cartilage. It usually starts in the pelvis (between the hip bones), the shoulder, the ribs or at the ends of the long bones of the arms and legs. A rare type of chondrosarcoma called extraskeletal chondrosarcoma does not form in bone cartilage. Instead, it forms in the soft tissues of the upper part of the arms and legs.
Symptoms of chondrosarcoma are felt right in the area of the tumor. You might feel an aching pain that slowly gets worse. It can be especially bad at night or with physical activity, and rest doesn't usually help. It may limit how well you can move that part of your body, and it might cause you to limp.
You might also have a large lump or growth on your bone, or stiffness, swelling, tenderness, or a feeling of pressure around the tumor.
Chondrosarcoma can occur at any age but is more common in people older than 40. Its cause is often unknown. Typically, it starts in normal cartilage, but it can also grow out of certain bone conditions.
You're more likely to get chondrosarcoma if you have:
- Enchondromas, benign tumors that can show up on their own or with problems like Maffucci syndrome and Ollier disease
- High doses of radiation for cancer treatment
- Multiple exostoses syndrome, small bumps made of cartilage form on your bones