What is it?

Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is a cancerous tumor that commonly appears in multiple locations on the skin, typically the lower limbs, back, face or around the genital area. It can also grow on internal organs.
KS is caused by a virus called the Human herpesvirus 8, or HHV-8.
Certain types of Kaposi's sarcoma are related to an HIV infection or other conditions of immunosuppression such as organ transplant.

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Signs & symptoms

KS is characterized by the appearance of purplish, reddish blue, or dark brown lesions on the skin, that may be flat or raised. The lesion may also bleed or ulcerate, they range in size from very small to several centimeters in diameter, and they can remain unchanged for months to years or grow rapidly within a few weeks and disseminate.
If the disease affect your limbs, swelling of the affected limb may occur.
KS can affect other organs such as the mouth, lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract.
Lesions in the mouth may be easily damaged by chewing and bleed or suffer secondary infection, and even interfere with eating or speaking. Involvement of the gastrointestinal tract may cause weight loss, pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding or intestinal obstruction. Involvement of the airway can present with shortness of breath, cough, coughing up blood or chest pain


KS may be suspected from the appearance of lesions and the patient's risk factors.
Definite diagnosis can be made only by biopsy of the suspected site and microscopic examination.


Kaposi sarcoma is not curable, but it can often be treatable for many years. In KS associated with immunodeficiency or immunosuppression, treating the cause of the immune system dysfunction can slow or stop the progression of KS
Other treatments may include:
* removal– usually in cases of few small lesions.
* chemotherapy
* radiation therapy

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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