Oral Kaposi's sarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the mouth and is caused by the human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8). It is a rare form of cancer, but it can be serious if left untreated. It is most commonly found in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or those who have had an organ transplant. It can also occur in people who have not been exposed to the virus. Oral Kaposi's sarcoma usually appears as a red or purple lesion on the gums, tongue, or inside of the cheeks.
It can also appear on the roof of the mouth, lips, or throat. The lesions may be raised or flat and can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. They may be painful or cause bleeding. The cause of oral Kaposi's sarcoma is not fully understood, but it is believed to be linked to the human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8). This virus is spread through contact with saliva, semen, or blood.
It can also occur in people who have not been exposed to the virus. The diagnosis of oral Kaposi's sarcoma is made through a physical examination and biopsy of the lesion. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Surgery is usually the first line of treatment and involves removing the lesion and any surrounding tissue that may be affected. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are used to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Immunotherapy is used to boost the body's immune system and help fight off the virus. It is important to seek medical attention if you notice any changes in your mouth such as red or purple lesions. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing oral Kaposi's sarcoma and preventing it from spreading. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health complications.