KAPOSI'S SARCOMA SIGNS AND SYMPTOMSIn many cases, there are no symptoms besides the red or purple patches, though the patches themselves can be quite painful. KS can spread to the digestive tract or to the lungs, which can make breathing hard or cause internal bleeding, which can render it life-threatening. It can also cause painful swelling, especially in the legs, groin, or around the eyes.
When it develops on its own, KS develops slowly. However, in people whose autoimmune system is compromised, especially those with HIV/AIDS, KS can move very quickly. Treating the AIDS itself can help to limit the spread of the lesions and even to shrink them, but for AIDS patients, KS contributes to the overall deterioration of health that eventually leads to death.
Image: Kaposis sarcoma
The skin lesions caused by KS can be disfiguring and painful, but they usually are not dangerous or even disabling. There are several different types of KS, which differ in symptoms and which organs are most affected, and how quickly the cancer cells spread. The types of treatment used will vary according to which kind of KS you have and other personal medical information. Some of these types are:
KAPOSI'S SARCOMA DIAGNOSISClassic Kaposi Sarcoma. This was first identified as being prominent among males of Mediterranean origin, especially Italians, and among Jewish men of eastern European origin, especially men of either group who were between the ages of 50 and 70. Men get this disease our times more often than women do, although this type of the disease is rare even in its higher risk groups. In this form of KS, the lesions develop slowly, sometimes over the course of a decade or more, and the gradually increasing pressure from the lesions can block lymph vessels and result in swelling which is often painful. In this form, lesions sometimes develop in the gastrointestinal tract, the lymph nodes, and elsewhere in the body, though these are not always painful and sometimes do not even produce symptoms.
African, or Endemic, Kaposi Sarcoma. In this form of KS, people in Equatorial Africa are the ones primarily affected. In that region, KS is a fairly common disease, and comprises about nine percent of all cancer cases among men. It has similar symptoms to Classic KS, although it affects men at much younger ages. In most cases, it stays within layers of skin, and does not spread to other parts of the body. However, it can take a more aggressive form, and in some cases, the skin lesions can go so deep that they penetrate the bone beneath. African KS can also strike children, and in this case also it affects males at east three times more often than females. The childhood cases are much more severe than the adult cases and usually affect the lymph nodes and other organs. In most of these childhood cases, African KS leads to death within three years of onset.
KAPOSI'S SARCOMA TREATMENTTransplant-Related (Acquired) Kaposi Sarcoma. If you are preparing for an organ transplant, you will be given medications that will suppress your immune system to keep it from rejecting your new organ or tissue. Unfortunately, with the immune system suppressed, many diseases or infections can prosper where they otherwise wouldn’t. KS is 150 to 200 times more likely to occur in a transplant patient than in others. In most cases, the KS only manifests itself as skin lesions; however, it can spread to the mucous membranes or to other organs.
AIDS-Related (Epidemic) Kaposi Sarcoma. As the name suggests, this form of KS is found in people who have been infected with HIV, the human immuno-deficiency virus. Because HIV/AIDS compromises the immune system, certain illnesses and even cancers, such as KS, are more likely to occur in people who have it. Because certain diseases occur so frequently in people with AIDS, they are considered defining characteristics of that disease. KS is one of those diseases, and is characterized in AIDS patients by lesions that spread quickly and erupt at many different places in the body at once. They may occur on the skin and in the mouth, and may also affect the lymph nodes, the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, spleen, and liver. This is different from Classic KS, which usually only affects a few areas of skin. Another factor that makes AIDS-Related KS different from Classic KS is that in almost all of these cases, the cancer will spread throughout the body, eventually involving the lungs, a fatal condition. Fortunately, there are preventative and curative measures which can prevent the cancer from spreading that far.
There are four main kinds of treatment most often used when KS is present. These include:
- Chemotherapy. These medications are administered either intravenously or orally, and enter the bloodstream. From there they reach all areas of the body, which can help treat cancers that have spread without you knowing it. The risk of chemotherapy is that although it kills cancerous cells, it can also kill healthy cells at the same time.
- Radiation therapy
- Biological therapy. This type of treatment uses chemicals that the body produces naturally, or at least, synthetic versions of these natural chemicals. It helps strengthen the immune system to fight the KS on its own.
In many cases, two or more of these treatments are used in conjunction with each other. In addition, if an underlying immuno-deficiency also exists, that condition must be treated as well, or the conditions that allowed for the presence of KS will persist, and the KS may return.
Medication commonly used for these disease:Kaposi’s Sarcoma drugs
CA 125 Test
Cancer blood tests
Complete Blood Count Test
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Sentinel node biopsy
Stool DNA Test