Sarcoma - Kaposi: Symptoms and Signs

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

People with Kaposi sarcoma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with Kaposi sarcoma do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor.

  • Lesions in the mouth and/or throat
  • Slightly elevated (like a bump) purple, pink, brown, or red blotches appearing anywhere on the skin
  • Lymphedema (swelling caused by a blockage of the lymph system)
  • Unexplained cough or chest pain
  • Unexplained stomach or intestinal pain
  • Diarrhea and/or blockage of the digestive tract, which can be caused by Kaposi sarcoma lesions that have developed in the gastrointestinal system

Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.