Treatment for complex tumors at the base of the skull
Published: May 11, 2012
Updated: May 11, 2012
Chordoma and chondrosarcoma tumors are rare tumors that account for only 0.01 to 0.2 percent of all brain tumors. The tumors are benign and grow from the types of cells that make cartilage in the skull.
In the head, these tumors typically grow inside the bones at the base of the back part of the skull. As a result, these tumors are very close to the nerves and blood vessels around the brainstem.
Chordomas and chondrosarcomas grow very slowly and invade the bones at the base of the skull. Because they grow so slowly, these tumors tend not to cause symptoms until they get to be quite large.
When they occur, symptoms of these tumors consist of headaches and dysfunction of the nerves being most compressed by the tumor. These symptoms can include:
Chordomas and chondrosarcomas are among the most difficult of skull base tumors to treat effectively.