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Kaposi’s sarcoma

  • Treatment

    How this condition is treated depends on:

    • How much the immune system is suppressed (immunosuppression)
    • Number and location of the tumors
    • Symptoms

    Treatments include:

    • Antiviral therapy against the AIDS virus
    • Combination chemotherapy
    • Freezing (cryotherapy)
    • Radiation therapy

    Lesions may return after treatment.


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    Expectations (prognosis)

    Treating Kaposi's sarcoma does not improve the chances of survival from AIDS itself. The outlook depends on the person's immune status and how much of the HIV virus is in the patient's blood (viral load).


    Complications

    Complications can include:

    • Cough (possibly bloody) and shortness of breath if the disease is in the lungs
    • Leg swelling that may be painful or cause infections if the disease is in the lymph nodes of the legs

    The tumors can return even after treatment. Kaposi's sarcoma can be deadly for a person with AIDS.

    An aggressive form of African Kaposi's sarcoma can spread quickly to the bones. Another form found in African children does not affect the skin. Instead, it spreads through the lymph nodes and vital organs, and can quickly become deadly.


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