There is no accepted staging system for Kaposi’s sarcoma. Patients are grouped
depending on which type of Kaposi’s sarcoma they have. There are three types
of Kaposi’s sarcoma:
Classic Kaposi’s sarcoma usually occurs in older men of Jewish, Italian, or
Mediterranean heritage. This type of Kaposi’s sarcoma progresses slowly,
sometimes over 10 to 15 years. As the disease gets worse, the lower legs may
swell and the blood may not be able to flow properly. After some time, the
disease may spread to other organs. Many patients with classic Kaposi’s
sarcoma may develop another type of cancer later on in their lives.
Kaposi’s sarcoma may occur in people who are taking drugs to make their immune
systems weaker (immunosuppressants). The immune system helps the body fight
off infection. People who have had an organtransplant (such as a liver or
kidney transplant) have to take drugs to prevent their immune system from
attacking the new organ.
Kaposi’s sarcoma in patients who have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
is called epidemic Kaposi’s sarcoma. AIDS is caused by a virus called the
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which attacks and weakens the immune
system. Infections and other diseases can then invade the body, and the immune
system cannot fight against them. Kaposi’s sarcoma in people with AIDS usually
spreads more quickly than other kinds of Kaposi’s sarcoma and often is found in
many parts of the body.
Recurrent disease means that the Kaposi's sarcoma has come back (recurred) after it has been
treated. It may come back in the area where it first started or in another
part of the body.
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