Chondrosarcomas are very rare tumours that occur in the skull base. They arise from cartilaginous remnants that occur between the plates of bone that make up the base of the skull. Due to this origin, they tend to occur in a very particular part of the skull base which in turn leads to characteristic presenting symptoms related to nerves that are in this region. Specifically, these nerves control eye movements and facial sensation and, therefore, double vision or abnormalities of facial sensation are characteristic presenting symptoms.
Chondrosarcomas tend to behave in a very benign fashion. In other words, they are slow growing but will inevitably gradually enlarge and cause problems with surrounding structures as described above. As a result, an aggressive treatment policy is usually called for which characteristically will involve both surgery as well as a specialised form of radiotherapy, namely proton beam radiotherapy.
The surgeons in the Brain and Spine Clinic have considerable experience in dealing with this very rare tumour and are able to draw on the expertise of a Skull Base Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) in formulating an individualised management plan for you. This team holds fortnightly meetings at Salford Royal Hospital, with a team of experts with a huge combined experience of managing such problems. Your surgeon will convey the outcome and recommendations of this meeting to you.
More specifics of the treatment options available to you are dealt with in the chondrosarcoma treatment section.