Kaposi's sarcoma, or KS, is a cancer of the blood vessels under the skin or in the lymph nodes and other organs. Kaposi's sarcoma usually appears as pink or purple spots or bumps on the skin. KS occurs mainly in people who have a weak natural defence (immune) system, such as people who have AIDS. It may also occur in people who take medicine to keep the immune system from attacking an organ (such as a kidney) after a transplant.
In some cases, KS can block the normal flow of fluid through the lymphatic system. This is a part of the immune system. A buildup of fluid can make your arm or leg swell or feel heavy.
Your doctor may treat KS with surgery, medicines called chemotherapy (by pill or in a vein), radiation, or immune therapy.
Finding out that you have cancer is scary. You may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
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