A kind of cancer, Kaposi sarcoma is triggered from the cells in certain parts of the skin, the lining of the lymph and blood vessels. The cancer is typically formed as tumors and the areas that are affected are known as lesions. The abnormal cells caused by the condition are exhibited in the form of red, purple and brown tumor-like patches on the skin. They often appear on the surface of the legs and face. However, they do not cause any kind of symptoms. Albeit, in some cases there are lesions that appear on the legs or the groin and this may lead to swelling and pain.
Kaposi sarcoma poses a serious threat to life when the lesions begin to develop in the digestive tract, liver, and lungs. When it develops in the digestive tract, the same can cause heavy bleeding. On the other hand, formation of the cancerous tumors in the lungs can lead to trouble during breathing.
Treatment for Kaposi Sarcoma
The treatment plan employed for this type of cancer will typically include a combination of different methods. There will usually be several medical teams that will address the condition through their own specialized techniques. The type of treatment used will also depend upon the type and the stage of the cancer. Even the overall health of the patient and possible side effects are closely evaluated. Here are some forms of treatment employed for Kaposi Sarcoma:
Surgery is used to remove the cancerous tumor and small portions of the surrounding tissue. The operation is undertaken by a surgical oncologist who specializes in treating cancer using surgical procedures. This form of treatment is most commonly employed when the tumors are located in specific areas. However, it is essential to understand the side-effects of this action and how impactful they can be.
Radiation therapy involves the use of high energy or different kinds of particles which work by destroying the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy is often effective as a type of local therapy to treat KS lesions on or near the surface of the body. It is used to reduce symptoms like pain or swelling from the KS lesions and also for skin lesions that look bad and can easily be seen (like on the face). Radiation therapy consist of several sessions that are given over a period.
The most commonly used treatment forms for cancer, chemotherapy employs drugs to reduce and destroy the growth of cancerous cells. Again, this treatment runs over a schedule or regimen where the patient must undergo medication for a specific period. The drug is directly injected into the affected parts of the body and works by destroying the cancerous cells. The side-effects of this treatment are dependent on the kind of drugs used. From low blood count, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, bruising, headaches and darkening of the skin, they may vary for every person.
During the period of treatment, it is important to speak with the physician and understand the goal of each treatment. Also, the expectations must be realized and worked on closely in tandem with the doctor.