What is Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS)

Question

Dear Doctor:

A friend of mine is HIV+ and has developed purplish spots over his neck and arms..when asked what they were he responded Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) and left it at that. Exactly what is this, and its significance to his disease.

Answer

KS is a type of cancer of the cells that line the blood vessels. If it's only on the skin or inside the mouth, it can be more of a cosmetic than a medical problem, unless it causes swelling of the legs. If it occurs, say, in the lungs, then it is a serious medical issue and needs to be treated with chemotherapy.