A chordoma is a rare primary malignant bone tumor that usually occurs along the spine or when the skull rests on the spine (skull base). This type of tumor usually occurs at the skull base, spine or lower spine (sacral bone). It consists of small remnants of a cellular spiral in the embryo that develops in the intervertebral discs of the spine. Chordomas are twice as common in men as in women, and most tumors occur between the ages of 50 and 70, although they can occur at any age. Although growth is usually slow, a chordoma is difficult to treat tumor because it is close to the spinal cord or other critical structures such as the carotid artery and brain tissue. Chordoma is a rare occurring and slow-growing neoplasm which arises from the bone in the skull base or from any place along the spine.
It is believed that this disorder has some genetic and hereditary basis which are still not well known.
Chordoma is generally identified by following signs
- nerve problems like tingling or numbness
- loss of control of bladder or bowl
- lump appearance
In most of the cases, the complete surgical procedure followed by good standard radiation therapy provides the best of long-term cure.