Kaposi's sarcoma digital illustration

Kaposi's sarcoma Save

ICD-10 code: C46

Chapter: Neoplasms

Kaposi's Sarcoma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Kaposi's sarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the skin and other organs, including the liver, lungs, and digestive tract. It is caused by the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV).

While Kaposi's sarcoma can occur in anyone, it is more commonly seen in people whose immune systems are weakened, such as those with HIV/AIDS, people who have had an organ transplant, and those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Symptoms of Kaposi's Sarcoma

The symptoms of Kaposi's sarcoma can vary depending on the location and severity of the cancer. In the early stages, it may appear as red or purple patches on the skin, which can later turn into nodules or tumors. In severe cases, it can lead to complications such as difficulty breathing, bleeding, or organ failure.

Treatment Options for Kaposi's Sarcoma

There are several treatment options available for Kaposi's sarcoma, including:

  1. Antiretroviral therapy (ART): People with HIV/AIDS may benefit from ART, which can help boost their immune system and slow down the progression of Kaposi's sarcoma.
  2. Chemotherapy: This treatment involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. While it can be effective, it can also cause side effects such as nausea, hair loss, and fatigue.
  3. Immunotherapy: This treatment involves using drugs to help the immune system fight cancer cells. It can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
  4. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove tumors or lesions.
Preventing Kaposi's Sarcoma

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent Kaposi's sarcoma, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, including:

  • Practicing safe sex: This can help reduce your risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Getting vaccinated: The HPV vaccine can help prevent certain types of cancer, including Kaposi's sarcoma.
  • Managing your immune system: If you have a weakened immune system, it is important to take steps to keep it healthy, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding stress.

If you have any concerns about Kaposi's sarcoma, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can help determine your risk and recommend appropriate screening and treatment options.