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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, and may affect internal organs.

Who is at risk for Kaposi's sarcoma?

  • Classic Kaposi's sarcoma. A slower-growing form of the disease that is more common in older people, especially those of European, Italian, or Middle Eastern descent.

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

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

  • Epidemic (AIDs-related) Kaposi's sarcoma. An aggressive form of the disease that occurs in people with AIDS.

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