For a more detailed guide, please read our chondrosarcoma information pack

Also known as:

Four types:

  • Conventional chondrosarcoma
  • Mesenchymal chondrosarcoma
  • Clear cell chondrosarcoma
  • Dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma

What is chondrosarcoma?

Chondrosarcoma is a type of primary bone cancer – one that starts in the bones rather than spreads there from other sites. It begins in the cartilage cells that form part of bones. It is usually the larger bones that are affected , the femur (thigh), pelvis, rib cage and humerus (upper arm). Very rarely it can form outside of the bones. Patients will usually have pain, local swelling or movement difficulty if the tumour is near a joint. In a third of cases the first symptom is that the affected bone will fracture from a minor injury.

There are different types of chondrosarcoma, the conventional form (75% of cases) is the least aggressive, mesenchymal, clear cell and dedifferentiated are more aggressive and likely to spread.

How rare is chondrosarcoma?

Chondrosarcoma affects 0.29 people per 100,00 teacher year. This means that around 200 people a year are diagnosed with chondrosarcoma.

Who does chondrosarcoma affect?

Chondrosarcoma mostly affects people over 40, although around 10% of cases occur in children and young adults. These tend to be the rarer types such as mesenchymal chondrosarcoma. Chondrosarcoma affects slightly more men than women overall, but clear cell chondrosarcoma is 2.5 times as common in men as in women.

Certain bone conditions (Pagets, Maffucci syndrome and Ollier disease) increase the risk of chondrosarcoma.

Why is RareCan interested in chondrosarcoma?

RareCan is working to accelerate research into chondrosarcoma by making it easier for researchers to connect with people who have it. You can help us do this by becoming a RareCan member and sharing information with us about your chondrosarcoma diagnosis. We will then get in touch with you about any research opportunities that might be suitable for you.

Looking for a different cancer type?

Please visit our ‘rare cancer list’ to search for your cancer type 

Useful links

If you are looking for further support with chondrosarcoma we recommend the following websites:

Sarcoma UK

Sarcoma UK

Sarcoma UK is a charity for those with bone and soft tissue sarcoma diagnoses including chondrosarcoma. They provide information on all types of sarcomas and have a patient support line to help assist with any queries and worries.

BCRT logo

Bone Cancer Research Trust

Bone Cancer Research Trust is a charity that offers support and information to those affected by bone cancers, including chondrosarcoma.