Kaposi's_Sarcoma

Kaposi’s Sarcoma is a type of tumor of the skin that is caused by a virus referred to as “Human herpesvirus 8“. This virus is also referred to as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated virus.

Kaposi’s Sarcoma is a cancer that arises from lymphatic endothelium rather than a true sarcoma. The first appearance is very similar to a bruise or several bruises.

It has been identified in patients and was initially categorized in 1872. The virus was identified in 1994. It is also seen and is well known in HIV Patients.

Transmission of the virus occurs by contact and sexual activity.

Classifications of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Classic

–  Affects those from Eastern Europe and Mediterranean descent or region

Endemic

–  Affects those from Africa
–  Not associated with HIV infection
–  This type is often more aggressive
–  Seen often in the lower limbs

Epidemic

–  Extremely aggressive disease
–  Found in those with HIV
–  300 times more common in these patients

Types

1.)  Classic Kaposi Sarcoma

2.)  AIDS-associated Kaposi Sarcoma

3.)  Immunosuppression-associated

4.)  African cutaneous

5.)  African lymphadenopathic

Symptoms

–  Are nodules or blotches
–  Typical colors include: black, brown, red, or purple
–  Are raised off the skin

Mouth

–  Affects more than 1/4 of those with AIDS
–  Can be the first location in 10% or more
–  Gums and the upper portion of the mouth called the hard plate
–  Difficulty with eating and speaking is often seen

Skin

–  Seen often on face
–  Also seen in lower legs and in the genitalia
–  Swelling can be seen
–  Occasionally a scabbing affect may occur
–  May cause significant physical change to the area affected

Respiratory Tract

–  Fever
–  Cough
–  Coughing blood
–  Chest pain
–  Found on X-ray

GI tract

–  Weight loss
–  Diarrhea
–  Difficulty with absorption
–  Obstruction

Diagnosis

–  Blood tests are helpful.
–  Physical Exam
–  Biopsy
–  X-ray in some cases.

Treatment

–  Kaposi’s Sarcoma is not curable where complete remission is seen.
–  However, decrease the progression and mild remission is plausible
–  Treatment of AIDs can help improve Kaposi’s sarcoma
–  Radiation Therapy
–  Cryosurgery
–  Surgery alone is not typically helpful and can make the affected area worse

Medication

–    Paclitaxel
  –    Liposomal anthracycline
–    Interferon alpha

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