Healing Your Body, Mind and Spirit
When you or a loved one face a chordoma diagnosis, the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute team has the experience and compassion you and your family need to help you navigate your journey. From helping you understand your condition to outlining treatment options, we’ll be by your side until you feel like yourself again.
Take Control of Your Health
Understand Your Chordoma Diagnosis
The first step on any journey back to whole health is to understand your condition better, but we know it can be hard to take in all the details. Start with learning all you can about chordoma tumors, including symptoms, treatment options and more.
What Is a Chordoma?
While chordoma tumors are often called brain tumors, they don’t develop from brain cells. These tumors grow slowly along the spine, most often at the skull base. And, they can be hard to detect early, since they rarely cause problematic symptoms until they’re quite large.
Chordomas are most common in adults ages 40 to 70. Though researchers aren’t sure why, men are twice as likely to develop a chordoma as women.
What Are the Symptoms of a Chordoma?
Chordoma symptoms may not be very noticeable or troubling at first. As the tumor grows in size, you may notice more severe symptoms, such as:
- A sizeable lump
- Endocrine problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Tingling, numbness or weakness
- Trouble swallowing
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Vision problems
How Is a Chordoma Diagnosed?
If a chordoma is suspected, your neurosurgeon will use specific tests and procedures to rule out or reach a chordoma diagnosis.
During a biopsy, a hollow needle is inserted into your skin to collect a small sample of cells at and around the suspected tumor. This cell sample is then sent to a laboratory where pathologists look under a microscope for cancer cells.
Through imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans, your doctor can identify the size and location of the suspected tumor. The images can also help guide a biopsy, if needed.
How Is a Chordoma Treated?
Chordoma treatment can vary based on its size and location, and your overall health. Chordomas are especially difficult to treat if they are on or near the spinal cord, brain tissue, carotid artery and other nerves. Your personalized chordoma treatment plan may include:
- Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapies
Your doctor will continue to closely monitor your health during and after treatment as chordomas can sometimes reoccur.
Specialized Chordoma Care For Every Diagnosis
When you’re facing a brain tumor diagnosis, you want a team you can trust by your side. That’s what you’ll find at AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute, where our entire team is dedicated to healing your body, mind and spirit.