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Can Kaposi Sarcoma Be Found Early?

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Most cancers start in one place and then spread to other parts of the body. When these cancers are found early, they are more likely to be curable. Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is different, because it tends to form in several areas at the same time. Even when only one skin lesion is visible, many people already have other areas of KS that are just too small to be seen.

There are no recommended routine screening tests to look for KS in people who are not at increased risk of the disease.

People infected with HIV are much more likely to develop KS, so many health experts recommend that people infected with HIV be examined regularly by health care providers who are experienced in recognizing KS and other diseases that go along with HIV infection and AIDS. People with possible symptoms of KS (see  Signs and Symptoms of Kaposi Sarcoma) should see their doctors right away so that the cause can be found as soon as possible and treated, if needed.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)—AIDS-Related Kaposi Sarcoma. V1.2018 (11/03/2017). Accessed 03/02/2018 from

Noy A, Dickson M, Gulick RM, Palefsky J, Rubinstein PG, Steir E. Ch. 65 - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and Cancer. In: Niederhuber JE. Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Tepper JE. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2014.

Yarchoan R, Uldrick TS, Polizzotto MN, Little RF. Ch. 117 - HIV-associated malignancies. In: DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.

Last Revised: April 19, 2018

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