. It affects the blood vessels. It can cause lesions on the skin, mucus membranes, or internal organs. It occurs most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract and lungs.
Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms. This is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors. They can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
KS can be classified according to the group of people that it affects:
Classic—usually affects men of Mediterranean descent
Endemic—usually affects people living in equatorial Africa
Transplant-related (acquired)—affects people who have received an organ transplant
. In this group, studies have shown a strong link between KS and a sexually transmitted virus. The virus is called human herpes virus 8. These factors probably account for most cases. The virus also appears to be linked to classic and endemic KS.
These factors increase your chance of developing KS:
Men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with bisexual men
Drugs that suppress the immune system
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
The most common symptom is skin or mucus membrane lesions that:
Internal bleeding (when lesions develop inside the body)
Breathing problems (when lesions develop in the lungs)
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. If you have skin lesions, the doctor may base the diagnosis on this. If you have bleeding, pain, or weight loss, you may need more tests to find out if you have KS.
Tests may include:
Biopsy—removal of a sample of tissue from a lesion to test for cancer cells
CT scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
Bronchoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat to examine the lungs and air passages
Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat to examine the gastrointestinal tract
Your doctor may suspect you have KS if you have AIDS and your lymph nodes are swollen.
Treatment depends on the type of KS. If KS is related to AIDS, treatment is focused on relieving pain. Treatments include:
This involves the removal of KS lesions on the skin and mucus membranes. Surgery to remove internal lesions depends on:
Because KS can bleed a lot after surgery, the doctor will try to remove the entire lesion with some normal tissue around it. This is to try to reduce bleeding.
is used to kill cancer cells. This therapy is usually given once or in divided doses over 2-3 weeks. The number of treatments depend on the size and location of the lesions.
This therapy is used to combat HIV and restore immune function. In some patients, it may be very effective against KS.
This is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given in many forms, including pill, injection, and via a catheter. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells. Some healthy cells are also killed. In some cases, the agents can be injected directly into a lesion.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a