Understanding Chordoma: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of This Rare Bone Tumor
Chordoma is a rare type of cancer that originates from cells associated with the embryonic remains of the notochord. It is a type of bone cancer that affects the bones and soft tissue near the bottom of the skull and spine. This disease mainly affects adults in their 40s, but has also been diagnosed in children and teenagers. Gaining an understanding of Chordoma is key to diagnosis, treatment and achieving optimal health.
Symptoms of Chordoma
The signs and symptoms of Chordoma depend on the size and location of the tumor, and may include the following:
- Blurred Vision
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Trouble Urinating
If a Chordoma is suspected, a doctor will use imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to locate and diagnose the tumor as well as any metastasis. These tests create pictures of the inside of the body that can help confirm the diagnosis of Chordoma. A biopsy may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis, as other tumors have similar symptoms.
Treatment of Chordoma
The treatment for Chordoma depends on the location, size and stage of the tumor. The most common treatment for Chordoma is surgery, which is done to remove as much of the tumor as possible. After surgery, other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy may be used to slow the growth and spread of the tumor.
In some cases, chemotherapy and radiation cannot be used due to the risk of adverse side effects, so alternative treatments such as immunotherapy or targeted therapy may be used. If surgery is not possible, patients may be able to receive proton radiation therapy, which can help decrease the size of the tumor.
Health Implications of Chordoma
Chordoma can be a debilitating condition, and it is important to be aware of its symptoms and treatment options. While supportive care may be available, managing the health implications of Chordoma is essential for a patient’s long-term wellbeing. Regular visits to the doctor and staying on top of any changes to the condition are essential for providing optimal care.