Other Types of Skin Cancer: Kaposi's Sarcoma

What is Kaposi's sarcoma?

Kaposi's sarcoma is a cancer that starts in the skin's blood vessels. Kaposi's sarcoma comes in two forms: a slow-growing form, and a more aggressive, faster-spreading form. The slow-growing form usually starts as a purple or dark-brown, flat or raised, area on the lower leg. The more aggressive form of Kaposi's sarcoma starts as a pink, red, or purple, round or oval, spot anywhere on the body, including internally.

Who is at risk for Kaposi's sarcoma?

  • classic Kaposi's sarcoma - a slower-growing form of the disease, is more common in older people, especially those of European, Jewish, or Italian descent.

  • African Kaposi's sarcoma - can be slow-growing or more aggressive, and often affects children and young men in African nations near the equator.

  • treatment-related Kaposi's sarcoma - occurs in people receiving immune-suppressing drugs, such as after organ transplants.

  • epidemic Kaposi's sarcoma - an aggressive form of the disease, occurs more often in people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

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