Kaposi Sarcoma

At a Glance

  • It is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissue lining the lymph vessels under the skin or in mucous membranes.
  • There are many types of this diesase.
  • The spread of this disease within the body depends upon the type.
  • Main symptom is a lesion that grows under the skin or in the lining of the mouth or throat, or in the tissue of organs.

What is Kaposi Sarcoma?

It is a form of cancer that causes lesions (abnormal tissue) to grow under the skin, in the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, or in other organs. The lesions are usually purple and are made of cancer cells, new blood vessels, and white blood cells. Kaposi sarcoma is different from other cancers in that lesions may begin in more than one place in the body at the same time. Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) is found in the lesions of all patients with this disease. This virus is also called Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV). Most people infected with HHV-8 do not get this cancer. Patients who have immune systems weakened by disease or by drugs given after an organ transplant, are most likely to develop this disease


There are several types of Kaposi sarcoma, including:
  • Classic Kaposi sarcoma.
  • African Kaposi sarcoma.
  • Immunosuppressive treatment-related Kaposi sarcoma.
  • Epidemic Kaposi sarcoma.
  • Nonepidemic Kaposi sarcoma.
If you have symptoms, increased risk factors or have recently been diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma, contact us to request an appointment with Diablo Valley Oncology’s physicians.