What is Kaposi Sarcoma of the Skin?Kaposi sarcoma of the skin is a rare type of cancer that affects the gastrointestinal tract’s skin and mucus membrane (inner lining) (mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum, and anus) from mouth to anus.
Disease CausesKaposi sarcoma of the skin is caused by human herpesvirus 8 infections, also known as Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. The herpes virus-associated Kaposi sarcoma is less common in the United States but more common in some other parts of the world. It usually develops in immune-compromised people such as the elderly, patients of HIV (AIDS), and people on immune suppressant drugs due to bone marrow and organ transplantation.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Purplish, red, or brown colored lesion or spot on the skin
- The lesion may be the flat or raised area of the skin
- The patient may have single or multiple lesions
- Lesions are usually disfigured
- Lesions usually develop on the skin of the face, legs, and feet however these lesions of Kaposi sarcoma can develop anywhere on the body
- Lesions or tumors can spread to the lymph nodes, mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, and lungs.
- The tumor or lesion can bleed easily
- The person may also have itching on the affected area of the skin
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Narrow margin excisional biopsy of the skin
- Histopathology (microscopic examination of the tumor tissues after taking a biopsy)
- Chest X-Ray to detect distant metastasis of the tumor ( as Kaposi sarcoma of the skin may also spread to the lungs and lymph nodes of the body)
- Other diagnostic procedures such as Chest X-ray, USG (ultrasound) abdomen, CT-scan, MRI, and PET-scan to detect the size, site, extent, and distant metastasis( spread of the tumor from its site of origin to the other parts of the body)