What Is It?
Kaposi's sarcoma is a type of cancer caused by the virus human herpes virus 8. The tumors appear as red or purple patches on the skin, mouth, lungs, liver, or gastrointestinal tract.
First described in 1872, Kaposi's sarcoma was considered rare and relatively harmless until the AIDS epidemic began. An aggressive form of the disease, AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, occurs in people with severely weakened immune systems. It is now the most common type of Kaposi's sarcoma.