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Kaposi's Sarcoma - Symptoms and Treatment

Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is a type of cancer, it differs from other types of cancer in the way it develops. Unlike most cancers, which start in one place and may then spread to other parts of the body, KS can appear in several parts of the body at the same time.Kaposi sarcoma (KS) was named for Dr. Moritz Kaposi who first described it in 1872. KS mainly effects on the skin but it may also affect internal organs, particularly the lymph nodes, the lungs and parts of the digestive system (the gut). It is a type of cancer that develops in connective tissues such as cartilage, bone, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or fibrous tissues (related to tendons or ligaments).

Causes of Kaposi Sarcoma

KS is now believed to be caused by a virus called Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV8), which is also known as Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpes Virus (KSHV). It is a disease which effects and make immune system of a person weak, in some cases sarcoma may be hereditary such as in : inherited retinoblastoma , Li-fraumeni syndrome, Gardners syndrome, neurofibromatosis.

Symptoms of Kaposi Sarcoma

Following are the symptoms of Kaposi Sarcoma:

1) small, painless, flat area (lesion) or lump on skin

2) Non-specific symptoms such as fever, weight loss and sweating

3) Other type of illness such as lymphoma or tuberculosis

4) Advanced skin lesions are usually only mildly uncomfortable, although painful ulcers may occur

5) Profound air hunger and Illness of months or years

Treatment of Kaposi Sarcoma

Kaposi Sarcoma is not considered curable.Neither surgical or chemotheraphy helps in curing this disease fully. Survival in classic KS is usually years and sometimes decades.Surgery is the most common treatment for soft tissue sarcomas, especially if cancer cells haven't spread to other parts of the body. Surgery generally involves removing the cancer and a rim of healthy tissue surrounding it. Chemotheraphy is also used through which rapidly increment of cells is checked.Radiation theraphy is also used to treat cancer with gamma or x - rays Classic KS does not usually require any treatment, although radiotherapy is sometimes used for larger or easily visible lesions.

  • Treatment of Aids-related KS is often affected by the person's general health. As the immune system has already been weakened by the illness, extra care has to be taken to ensure that any side effects of treatment are not going to make your health become worse.
  • Transplant-related KS, caused by immunosuppressant drugs, can sometimes be controlled by stopping or reducing these drugs.
  • Endemic or African KS is often treated with chemotherapy.


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