Kaposi Sarcoma is a form of cancer that develops from cells that line blood vessels and the lymph nodes -- and as a result, it can appear in many parts of the body, whereas most forms of cancer originate in a single place. When lesions form internally, KS can be life-threatening. The disease is rare in the United States -- roughly six people per million are diagnosed each year, according to the American Cancer Society -- and the most common type of KS is found in people who've been diagnosed with HIV. Recognizing the symptoms of KS can help people get the treatment they need. Read on to learn about three important symptoms of Kaposi Sarcoma.
The appearance of lesions is the most telltale symptom of Kaposi Sarcoma. These lesions can appear anywhere on the skin -- they can either be flat, slightly raised or even in the form of nodules, and they can be brown, purple or red. Most of the time, KS lesions aren't itchy or painful. Also, KS lesions most often appear on the legs or face. In addition to forming on the skin, KS lesions might also form inside the mouth, throat or eyelids.
Another symptom of Kaposi sarcoma is shortness of breath or even coughing up blood. This can be the result of lesions forming on the lungs, which leads to serious health complications. Shortness of breath is common among people who are ill or even out of shape, but anyone who has been diagnosed with HIV should be especially cautious about being out of breath. Furthermore, coughing up blood should always warrant a trip to the doctor's office.
A third symptom of KS is black and tarry bowel movements. Similar to the previous symptom, this warning sign of KS can be the result of lesions bleeding inside the digestive tract. Again, this is a serious issue that can cause dire health complications if not properly dealt with. Over time, people with KS can suffer from anemia after enough internal bleeding. Take our quiz to see if you should talk to your doctor about Kaposi sarcoma.