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Signs and Symptoms of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a cancer of the connective tissue that causes abnormal tissue to grow under the skin and in the lining of the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat. It is primarily associated with the AIDS virus. In people without AIDS, Kaposi’s sarcoma develops slowly, but in People with AIDS, the disease progresses very quickly. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Kaposi’s Sarcoma are as follows:

  • Skin lesions that are red, purple, brown or black that appear on any area of the body
  • Lesions in the mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain

The red and purple skin patches of Kaposi’s sarcoma often cause no symptoms, although they can be painful. Kaposi’s sarcoma in the lungs causes the breathing symptoms, and Kaposi’s sarcoma in the digestive tract causes the gastrointestinal symptoms.

Prior to the AIDS virus, Kaposi’s sarcoma was most often seen in elderly men and sometimes in elderly women. In this group, the signs and symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma developed slowly. With the spread of AIDS, however, Kaposi’s sarcoma became associated with AIDS victims.  The progression of the signs and symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma in people with AIDS is very rapid. People who have had organ transplants are also at risk for Kaposi’s sarcoma.

Diagnosis of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

A diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma on the skin is made with a tissue biopsy. Other tests for Kaposi’s sarcoma include a bronchoscopy, a CT scan and an endoscopy.

Books For People With Signs and Signs and Symptoms of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Understanding Kaposi’s Sarcoma
The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Kaposi’s Sarcoma: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
Icon Health Publications

AIDS: The Epidemic Of Kaposi’s Sarcoma And Opportunistic Infections
Alvin E. Friedman-Kien MD
Recent Advances in AIDS And Kaposi’s Sarcoma (Antibiotics and Chemotherapy)
E. Giraldo

Kaposi Sarcoma Resources

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma.

  • Derm Net NZ

Authoritative facts about the skin from the New Zealand Dermatological Society.

  • WD

Kaposi’s Sarcoma information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • MD Junction

Kaposi Sarcoma Forums. Discussions, Q&A and friends dealing with Kaposi Sarcoma

  • Factoidz

Find out more about the causes of Kaposi’s sarcoma, its types, symptoms, how to diagnose … Ask a Question to Experts in the Cancer & Therapy Forum.

Medical Resources

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Web MD

General information about Kaposi’s Sarcoma.