Kaposi's Sarcoma

Kaposi's sarcoma is a form of skin cancer usually found in AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) patients and other patients with immune deficiency disorders.

Symptoms of Kaposi's Sarcoma

The symptoms of Kaposi's sarcoma are:

  • Flat patches
  • Bruise-like in appearance (red, purple, brown, and blue in color)
  • Pea-sized and larger lesions that can grow to cover a large part of the skin

Kaposi's sarcoma can spread internally to the lymph nodes and internal organs, thus causing serious and life-threatening conditions.

Leg lesion in Kaposi's sarcoma
Red blood cell and homosiderin deposit in Kaposi's sarcoma lesion.

Who Gets It?

About a quarter of AIDS patients who get AIDS through sexual transmission get Kaposi's sarcoma. In these patients, the Kaposi's sarcoma lesions usually occur in the upper body.

When it was first discovered before the AIDS epidemic, Kaposi's sarcoma lesions develop in the legs. This rare form of the disease, called classic Kaposi's sarcoma, afflicts mostly healthy older Italian and Jewish males.

Treatment of Kaposi's Sarcoma?

For small lesions, the treatments for this condition are:

  • Local injection of chemotherapy agents
  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen

For larger patches and if there is infection of the lymph nodes or internal organs, the treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

See also:
Kaposi's Sarcoma Pictures

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