Kaposi's Sarcoma

 

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a type of skin cancer that grows from cells in the blood vessels. This disease usually takes the form of tumors on skin or on the mucosal tissues of mouth, nose, throat or other organs of the body. The tumor or patches are red or purple that is made up of cancer and blood cells. The tumor affected areas are known as lesions. Most often, the lesions appear on legs or face. Usually, Kaposi’s sarcoma causes no symptoms. This disease can be life-threatening when caused in lungs, liver or the digestive tract.

Signs & Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma include;

  • Symptoms on skin affect the areas of lower limbs, back, face, mouth and the genitalia.
  • Mouth- Kaposi’s Sarcoma affects the hard palate of the mouth followed by the gums. The lesions are easily prone to damage by chewing or suffer another infection and might interfere eating and speaking.
  • Gastrointestinal tract- Kaposi Sarcoma can appear in the gastrointestinal tract causing unrecognized weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, mal-absorption or intestinal blockage.
  • Respiratory tract- When Kaposi Sarcoma appears in the respiratory tract, the symptoms include falling short of breath, fever, cough, hemoptysis, chest ache and other symptoms.

Treatment

Kaposi Sarcoma is nearly an incurable disease but can definitely be controlled and monitored for many years. The treatment depends on the condition and how much the immune system is suppressed to cooperate with the medications prescribed to the number and location of tumors and the symptoms.

Kaposi Sarcoma treatment includes

  • Antiviral therapy against HIV
  • Combinations of Chemotherapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

Causes

Kaposi Sarcoma appears in people who are HIV positive and are AIDS patients. The causes include a strong link with people who have sexually transmitted viruses called human herpes virus 8. This accounts to being the root cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma.

Tests & Procedures

To determine this disease, the following tests and procedures have to be done;

  • Physical exam and history
  • Biopsy
  • Chest x-ray
  • Endoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy

Preventive Measures

The preventive measures of this disease include;

  • Refrain from intercourse.
  • Do not share needles
  • Limit the number of people you have intercourse with
  • Avoid partners who are HIV positive

Treatment Cost

The treatment cost depends on how soon this disease is detected. Usually, this disease shows unrecognizable symptoms but when detected early, needs early treatment and medications. This disease is associated with AIDS. Hence, a life-long treatment is needed for which a huge amount is required.

Side Effects

The side-effects of Kaposi’s sarcoma include blood in cough, shortness of breath if the disease is in the lungs. The treatment might also cause swelling of the leg and other infections.