Kaposi sarcoma

Kaposi sarcoma
Usually lethal cancer appearing as red-purple or blue-brown spots on the skin and other organs.

It has been linked to one of the herpes viruses, and there is considerable debate about how it should be classified. When described in 1872 by Moritz Kaposi, it was extremely rare, confined to specific Mediterranean and African populations. Since с 1980 it has become common in AIDS patients. More homosexual male HIV patients have developed it than heterosexual intravenous-drug-using HIV patients. Remissions have occurred, but there is no known cure.

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also called  idiopathic multiple pigmented hemorrhagic sarcoma 

      rare and usually lethal cancer of the tissues beneath the surface of the skin or of the mucous membranes. The disease can spread to other organs, including the liver, lungs, and intestinal tract. Kaposi sarcoma is characterized by red-purple or blue-brown lesions of the skin, mucous membranes, and other organs. The skin lesions may be firm or compressible, solitary or clustered. Kaposi sarcoma primarily occurs in people afflicted with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ( AIDS).

      Kaposi sarcoma was considered an extremely rare cancer until about 1980, when the disease became increasingly evident in AIDS patients. Kaposi sarcoma, in fact, was the disease that indicated the presence of AIDS in nearly half of the cases reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Young male homosexuals with AIDS are far more likely to develop the cancer than are other AIDS patients. The breakdown of the immune system and the production of a growth factor by white blood cells infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS, seem to encourage the sarcoma's occurrence—i.e., it is considered an opportunistic tumour. The development of Kaposi sarcoma is also thought to be linked to infection by the herpes virus HHV-8.

      There is no known cure for Kaposi sarcoma, although partial and complete remissions have been accomplished. The AIDS patient is nonetheless subject to a return of the disease. However, the introduction of antiviral therapy for those infected with HIV has reduced the incidence of the sarcoma. The disease is named after Mortiz Kaposi, who first reported it in 1872.

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Universalium. 2010.

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