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Kaposi’s Sarcoma Cancer Symptoms

When cells which line the blood vessels or lymphs develop cancer, the condition is known as Kaposi sarcoma (KS). The malignant cells are red,brown or purple color tumors on the skin. It is the most common cancer assocaietd with AIDS. When AIDS epidemic struck the United States, 90 percent of people suffering from this condition were aged 20-54. Availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced the indicidences in this country.

Symptoms of Kaposi’s Sarcoma:

  • Brown, reddish or purple skin spots
  • Red spots in mouth, arms and legs
  • Ulcerating spots
  • Tumors in the lymph glands
  • Bleeding from the digestive tract
  • If the lungs are affected, it can lead to shortness of breath
  • Blood in the sputum

The changes in the cancer cell remains the same throughout. Its types are based upon the different populations which get affected by it. Some of these types are epidemic KS, classic KS, endemic KS and Iatrogenic KS.

Epidemic or AIDS Related KS: It is the most common type of KS affecting people with HIV-AIDS. The virus remains latent inside the patient for years. It becomes apparent only after complete destruction the immune system of the body. Symptoms of KS appear with other complications of AIDS. It is said to be an AIDS defining condition, confirming that the person is a clinical AIDS patient different from an HIV positive person.

Classic or Mediterranean KS: Aged people belonging to Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern heritage are more at the risk of developing this disease. Men develop this condition more than women and symptoms include lesions soles of the feet, ankles and legs and weak immune system. However, their immune system is relatively stronger than people with epidemic KS.

Endemic or African KS: Younger people below the age of 40 years and living in Equatorial Africa are most affected by the KS herpesvirus, which causes this cancer. An aggressive form of this cancer is seen in children below the age of 13 years, affecting the lymph nodes and other organs of the body.

Iatrogenic or Transplant-associated KS: When organ transplantation takes places in a patient, certain drugs are given to suppress the immune system. This reduces the chances of the body rejecting or invading the new body part. If KS develops during such conditions in patients with weak immune system, it is called iatrogenic KS.

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