Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor radiation therapy specialist surgery Home Care diet pain control taking control warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Chordoma Treatment

The treatment of chordoma depends on the size and location of the tumor. Treatment for chordoma often includes anticonvulsants to control seizures, oral corticosteroids, surgery, and radiation therapy.

Treatment for chordoma may include:

Chordoma Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of chordoma.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • Are my children at risk for this condition?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Chordoma Radiation Therapy

Stereotactic radiosurgery uses a highly-focused dose of radiation directed at a small area of the brain tumor. It requires specialized scanning equipment, and 3-dimensional imaging. Another name for this method is a gamma knife.

Gamma knife devices include CyberKnife and LINAC X. These allow doctors to deliver a precise dose of radiation just to the area of the tumor. This device has a lightweight linear accelerator attached to a robotic arm. This highly-specific therapy delivers deadly doses to tumor cells with a minimal effect on surrounding brain tissue.

Chordoma Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat chordomas:

Chordoma Surgery

Chordomas may be completely removed with surgery. This usually results in a cure.

Sometimes, chordomas are deeply embedded in the brain, surrounded by vital structures. In the past, it was impossible to remove the tumor without damaging other parts of the brain. Microsurgical techniques now allow doctors to remove most of these tumors without damaging other important structures.

Brain surgery complications include:

  • Post operative bleeding
  • Post operative infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Stroke

Continue to Chordoma Home Care

Last Updated: Oct 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chordoma References
  1. Fourney DR, Gokaslan ZL. Current management of sacral chordoma. Neurosurg Focus. 2003 Aug 15;15(2):E9. [15350040]
  2. Mendenhall WM, Mendenhall CM, Lewis SB, Villaret DB, Mendenhall NP. Skull base chordoma. Head Neck. 2005 Feb;27(2):159-65. [15641104]
  3. Sundaresan N, Boriani S, Rothman A, Holtzman R. Tumors of the osseous spine. J Neurooncol. 2004 Aug-Sep;69(1-3):273-90. [15527096]
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