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What are the symptoms of Kaposi's sarcoma?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of the cancer Kaposi's sarcoma include lesions on the skin, nausea, vomiting, coughing, swelling and trouble swallowing, according to WebMD. Some symptoms of Kaposi's sarcoma can be life-threatening, so immediate treatment is advised.

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Full Answer

The most obvious symptom of Kaposi's sacrcoma are skin lesions that appear red or purple on light skin and blue, brown or black on dark skin, as WebMD explains. The lesions are flat and do not itch. They can grow into raised bumps or grow together over time, and they are not life-threatening.

Kaposi's sacrcoma can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, stomach and intestines, as WebMD explains, and the symptoms involving these organs can be life-threatening. Internal bleeding can create blockages that cause nausea and vomiting. Sometimes, patients have trouble breathing or experience serious coughing. Others experience trouble swallowing or eating. Another serious symptom is swelling in the face, scrotum, arms or legs.

This once-rare cancer is often caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), according to WebMD. Kaposi's sarcoma can show up early after HIV infection, indicating that the immune system is suppressed. More severe cases of the cancer occur once the patient develops AIDS.

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