Sarcoma - Kaposi: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2019

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

Before HIV/AIDS was widespread, Kaposi sarcoma was extremely rare in the United States, with about 2 people diagnosed for every 1 million people. By the early 1990s, that rate had increased to about 47 people per 1 million people due to HIV/AIDS. However, this number has significantly decreased in recent years to about 6 cases per 1 million people because of more effective treatments for HIV/AIDS.

Men are nearly 10 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma. Incidence rates are highest in black people and Hispanic people. In the United States, children rarely develop the disease.

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 5-year survival rate for people with both HIV and Kaposi sarcoma is about 74%, but even this is probably an underestimate. Around 56% of people with Kaposi sarcoma are diagnosed before the cancer has spread outside the area where it started.

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 the survival rates for people with Kaposi sarcoma are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2017: Special Section – Rare Cancers in Adults, and the ACS website (January 2019).

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It explains the factors that may increase the chance of developing Kaposi sarcoma and what may lower your risk. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.