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Kaposi's sarcoma

The most serious diseases that affect the human bodyare cancers. They are very progressive diseases and the majority of them canbe cured only when they are detected in the early stages. The survival rate formany advanced cancers is very low. The optimal life expectancy is only a coupleof years.

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a type of cancer that manifeststhrough the appearance of red or purple patches on the skin, mouth or lungs, aswell as on the liver or gastrointestinal tract. The virus that is responsiblefor occurrence of this cancer is called human herpes virus 8. When Kaposi’s sarcoma becomes very severe, then thisdisease is called AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.

Types of Kaposi’s sarcoma

There are four types of this cancer: classic Kaposi’ssarcoma, African Kaposi’s sarcoma, immunosuppressive-treatment-related Kaposi'ssarcoma and AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.

Classic Kaposi’s sarcoma and African Kaposi’ssarcoma are very rare and slow growing skin tumors. In the majority of cases the male population is affected by these two types of Kaposi’s sarcoma.Those people who use immunosuppressive drugs after an organ transplant operation are at risk to develop immunosuppressive-treatment-relatedKaposi's sarcoma. Therefore, the immunosuppressive medication should be changedor reduced in order to improve the condition.The people who have late-stage HIV/AIDS usuallydevelop AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. This cancer is very aggressive and veryquickly it affects the skin, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract and lungs, as well asliver and spleen.

Symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma

The most obvious symptoms of this type of cancer arered or purple patches or plaques that can be noticed on the skin. They may lookas bruises. In the first three types of Kaposi’s sarcoma that are mentionedabove, these skin lesions usually develop gradually over years. When the cancerprogresses, the legs become swollen and the cancer spreads and invades theother organs.

AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma is a very severecancer that rapidly progresses and tends to form masses that look like tumors. Inthe beginning, the skin lesions are soft and spongy but eventually, they becomesolid and hard. Furthermore, the open ulcers may appear and they usually getinfected. When the cancer invades other organs, especially the lungs, theperson who has this condition may experience problems with breathing, shortnessof breath, coughing and wheezing. In the majority of cases, when the cancer affectsthe lungs, the respiratory failure occurs and the death occurs. When the gastrointestinal tract is affected by thecancer, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain usually appear as the symptoms.

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