Sarcoma - Kaposi: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of sarcoma each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu.

Kaposi sarcoma occurs in less than 1% of the general population. Before HIV/AIDS was widespread, Kaposi sarcoma was rare in the United States, with about 2 people diagnosed for every 1 million Americans. By the early 1990s, that rate had increased to about 47 cases per 1 million people, most of which were people with HIV/AIDS. This number has significantly decreased in recent years to about 6 cases per 1 million people because of more effective treatments for HIV/AIDS. About 1 in 200 transplant recipients in the United States develops Kaposi sarcoma.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. When HIV and AIDS first became widespread, the 5-year survival rate of people with Kaposi sarcoma was less than 10%. Now the most recent data from the National Cancer Institute shows 5-year survival rates of about 72%. More effective treatments for HIV/AIDS are improving the survival rate both by treating the infections associated with HIV/AIDS and the Kaposi sarcoma. Other factors also affect survival, including the risk grouping of Kaposi sarcoma.

It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with Kaposi sarcoma. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing this disease and what may lower your risk. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.