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Kaposi’s Sarcoma: Types, Symptoms And Treatment

What is Kaposi’s Sarcoma?

Windowofworld.com – Kaposi’s sarcoma is a cancer that comes from a blood vessel. When a person experiences Kaposi’s sarcoma, the skin will look patches or small lumps of red or purplish to resemble a bruised skin color.

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that arises due to infection with the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8). This virus attacks cells that line the channels and lymph nodes as well as blood vessels.

In most people, this viral infection does not cause symptoms or cause Kaposi’s sarcoma. This cancer is usually found in people with low endurance, such as people with HIV or people who use immune system suppressants (immunosuppressants).

Symptoms of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

The main symptom of Kaposi’s sarcoma is the appearance of red or purple patches on the skin or in the mouth. These patches are almost similar to bruises and are painless. In some cases, Kaposi’s sarcoma may appear as a lump in red or purplish.

If it has spread to other parts of the body, Kaposi’s sarcoma can cause some additional symptoms, such as:


  1. Swollen arms, legs, or face.
  2. Swollen lymph nodes.
  3. Shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain.
  4. Decreased appetite.
  5. Weight decreased dramatically.
  6. Indigestion, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhea.

How quickly the symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma develop depends on the type. Some types of Kaposi’s sarcoma take years to develop. But without treatment, most malignant tumors or cancer can get worse quickly in a matter of weeks or months.

Types of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Treatment

Each type of Kaposi’s sarcoma requires different treatment, depending on the severity and how fast the cancer can spread. Based on the type of disease, Kaposi’s sarcoma is divided into 4 types, namely:

1. Classic Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Classical Kaposi’s sarcoma is very rare. This type is more common in older men over 60 years. On the body, classic Kaposi’s sarcoma will appear in the lower leg or leg.

Unlike other types of Kaposi’s sarcoma, symptoms of classical Kaposi’s sarcoma develop very slowly over the years. Kaposi’s sarcoma is usually harmless. However, this disease still requires medical treatment. Classical Kaposi’s Sarcoma can be overcome in several ways, namely:

    1. Radiotherapy or radiation therapy
      Radiotherapy is done to kill cancer cells in Kaposi’s sarcoma and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body.
    2. Operation
      The step of surgery or surgery can be done with ordinary surgery, frozen surgery (cryotherapy), or electric surgery (cautery). The aim is to remove cancerous tissue.
    3. Chemotherapy
      The goal of this therapy is to kill Kaposi’s sarcoma cancer cells in the part of the body where this cancer originated, as well as kill cancer cells that have spread or spread to other parts of the body.

2. Kaposi’s HIV Sarcoma

Kaposi’s sarcoma that occurs in people with HIV can appear in any part of the body. If it appears in the mouth, Kaposi’s sarcoma can make it difficult for sufferers to swallow. Whereas in the gastrointestinal tract, Kaposi’s sarcoma can cause indigestion.

Kaposi’s sarcoma HIV tends to develop very quickly if not treated, especially if the immune system of people with HIV is already very weak. Therefore, HIV sufferers need to get antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to suppress the amount of HIV virus in their bodies.

ARV treatment also serves to prevent the occurrence of Kaposi’s sarcoma in people with HIV. If Kaposi’s sarcoma appears, the doctor will perform surgery with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

3. Kaposi’s sarcoma due to organ transplants

Kaposi’s sarcoma occurs in people who have had organ transplant operations. This is because after organ transplants, patients need to take immunosuppressant drugs in the long run to prevent a rejection reaction to organs from donors.

The side effects of this drug make the immune system weak, so the HHV-8 virus that causes Kaposi’s sarcoma can easily attack.

Kaposi’s sarcoma can be aggressive and damage organs. Therefore, this disease needs to be treated as soon as possible by reducing the dose or changing the type of immunosuppressant drug consumed. If that doesn’t work, radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be needed.

4. Endemic African sarcoma sarcoma

Sarkona Kaposi of this type generally occurs in Africa and very rarely found in other areas. According to the results of the study, Kaposi’s sarcoma occurs because of the easy spread of the HHV-8 virus in several countries in Africa.

Kaposi’s sarcoma can spread through contact with the patient’s saliva or due to poor environmental sanitation. Kaposi’s sarcoma of this type can affect children and also adults.

In general, Kaposi’s sarcoma can be treated as long as it is diagnosed quickly and the treatment is done quickly. However, due to causes that are difficult to overcome, for example due to HIV infection or immunosuppressant drug side effects, Kaposi’s sarcoma can recur if the patient’s immune system becomes weak again.

Therefore, if there are patches or lumps that resemble the signs of Kaposi’s sarcoma on the skin or in the mouth, consult a doctor immediately. In determining the diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as an HIV test, a complete blood test, biopsy, CT scan, or endoscopy.

If the patient is proven to have Kaposi’s sarcoma, the doctor will provide treatment according to the type of Kaposi’s sarcoma that appears. After treatment is complete and Kaposi’s sarcoma is declared cured, the patient still needs to do a doctor’s examination periodically to detect whether Kaposi’s sarcoma is growing again.

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