Chordoma is a rare slow-growing cancer. It’s a primary bone tumor cancer that occurs along the spine, most often in the base of the spine or in the base of the skull. It can spread to other areas of spine or to other organs, usually the lungs. It can occur at any age but it is usually found occurring in adults. Though it is a slow growing but they are difficult to treat and is life threatening too. It can occur spontaneously.
Chordoma are not known to be caused by trauma, environmental factors, or diet. But a very few cases of chordoma is due to hereditary. It is a result of mutations in a cell`s DNA which leads the cell to grow some harmful properties such as diving infinitely, invading other tissues and destroying the immune system.
There are numerous symptoms of chordoma like back ache, bowel bladder dysfunction, sighting issues, pain in neck, leg, head, weakness and numbness of legs, dysphagia and many more. These symptoms are location dependent where the tumor has affected for example, tumors in the skull can cause headache or problems with vision. And Tumors in the tailbone area can cause a noticeable mass, numbness in the crotch area, and problems with the bowel and bladder.
As each chordoma is unique, its each patient is also unique. Accordingly their treatment approaches differ from patient to patient. There might be several treatment options available for a particular patient with different risks and benefits. So doctors have to consider the most appropriate approach in treating them. Surgery is the most common approach for the treatment in which the tumor is removed. There are also few drugs available which help in to slow down the progression of the disease. Some patients undergo radiation treatment to kill the cells damaged by the tumor. There are few therapy treatments to control the growth of the cancer.
The treatment is considered to be expensive as there is a team of specialized doctors involved. There is a surgery and radiation treatment expenditure. All the equipments used for the treatment are special and expensive which makes the treatment costly.