ABOUT Kaposi Sarcoma - Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment
Kaposi Sarcoma is a cancer that affects the skin and blood vessels. It is typically characterized by red, purple, or brownish-coloured lesions on the skin.
This cancer tends to appear in people who are of Central European Jewish descent (Ashkenazi Jews) and it usually affects adults over the age of 40 years old.
The cause of Kaposi Sarcoma has not been fully elucidated but there are some theories that it may be brought on by infection with human herpesvirus 8 (or HHV-8).
The presence of herpesvirus 8 has also been found in high concentrations of HIV-positive immune cells present in people with this sarcoma.
What Is Its Cause?
Physicians believe that Kaposi Sarcoma is caused by a combination of factors. It is believed that Kaposi Sarcoma is caused by the presence of the virus HHV-8, which also causes herpes; additionally, it may be caused by an immunosuppressive environment (which may be caused by HIV/AIDS); and perhaps some other undiscovered factor.
Where Does It Come From?
The disease has been found to recur in some patients with primary Kaposi sarcoma after they have received radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, infection with human herpesvirus 8, or immuno suppression.
What Are The Symptoms Of Kaposi Sarcoma?
Skin lesions that are purplish or reddish can typically be signs of Kaposi Sarcoma. Other symptoms include red spots on the skin, lesions on the mucous membranes of the mouth, ears, anus, or genital area or bleeding from them, fever, malaise, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
How Is This Disease Treated?
When detected early enough Kaposi's sarcoma can have an excellent prognosis. The goal is to remove all traces of cancerous cells by surgery and then treat them with chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells that may have spread through the body.
In people with HIV/AIDS, the affected area may be removed and radiation therapy might have to be applied as well.
What Is The Current Status Of Kaposi Sarcoma?
Kaposi's Sarcoma is a rare disease, but it does affect several people around the world every year. The prevalence of this disease is higher in older people, particularly those from Central European Jews. In 2016 there were about 10,000 new cases of Kaposi's sarcoma reported worldwide. In 2017 a research team at National Cancer Institute (NCI) found a way to use hydrogen sulfide gas to kill cancer cells and prevent their recurrence. This treatment could potentially eliminate Kaposi sarcoma and other cancers.
Frequently Asked Questions Kaposi Sarcoma
How Is It Diagnosed?
The presence of Kaposi sarcoma can be detected by taking a sample of tissue from the affected area and examining it under a microscope.
The examiner looks for cancer cells, which will appear as bright red or purple. If cancer cells are detected the diagnosis is confirmed with the aid of antibodies.
These antibodies are usually used to detect tumor markers that are produced by tumors, the most common being prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for prostate cancers.
How Is It Prevented?
More research is needed to determine how this cancer can be prevented. Currently, there are no preventative measures for this disease except avoiding people who have infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
What Are The Costs, Risks, And Benefits Of Prevention?
Kaposi's Sarcoma is a very rare form of cancer that usually affects adults over the age of 40. It can affect people who are not infected with HIV/AIDS but it is most commonly seen in people infected with HIV/AIDS.
It has been found to recur in some patients after receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancers, infection with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), or immunosuppression.
This disease tends to recur because there are still cancerous cells in the body that can grow into new tumors.