Chordoma

A chordoma is a rare type of bone cancer that typically forms in the base of the skull or spine. Chordomas grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. But because of their location, they can damage the brainstem or the spinal cord, and can be life-threatening.

Overview

Symptoms

Symptoms of a chordoma in the skull base may include:

  • Back pain
  • Changes in hearing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Double vision
  • Facial pain

Diagnosis

First, you’ll meet with your doctor for a physical exam. You’ll talk about your symptoms and your doctor may order imaging tests such as an MRI or a CT scan.

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Treatment Options

Dr. Amin Kassam, vice president for Neurosciences at Aurora Health Care, explains the Expanded Endonasal Approach, a minimally invasive surgery technique.

If you have a chordoma, we’ll work with you to develop a plan for cancer care that will ensure the best possible outcome. We typically recommend a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

If surgery is required, your surgeon may use the Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA), a minimally invasive procedure in which the cancer is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery than traditional brain surgery.

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Get a Second  Opinion

Knowing all your options can make life's toughest decisions a little easier.

Your Life Your Health

myAurora makes it easy to manage your care online, anytime.