Sarcoma - Kaposi: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

People with Kaposi sarcoma may experience the following symptoms or signs, in particular if they also have HIV/AIDS. Sometimes, people with Kaposi sarcoma do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.

  • Slightly elevated purple, pink, brown, or red blotches or bumps anywhere on the skin or in the mouth and/or throat

  • Lymphedema, which is swelling caused by a blockage of the lymphatic 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

If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms 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 the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.