Kaposi's Sarcoma Essay

722 Words Jul 13th, 2013 3 Pages
Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Kaposi’s Sarcoma Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is a malignant tumor of the blood and lymphatic vessels. KS is caused by the human herpes virus-8(HHV8). The disease occurs frequently in immunodeficient HIV-AIDS patients and organ donor recipients taking immune suppressant medications. KS is often a sign that HIV has progressed into AIDS. Before the HIV-AIDS epidemic, the classical case of KS was typically found in older males of Eastern European and Italian descent. The disease developed slowly in a period of about 10-15 years versus the rapid growth in immune deficient patients. KS is associated with red, purple or black lesions on the skin. Patients often complain of swelling, pain and itching from infected areas. KS
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Anti HHV-8 agents are also effective. Chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy destroy malignant (cancer) cells and shrink tumors. Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and shed lesions. Lesions can be surgically removed. Palliation is the primary focus of nursing care. HIV is ultimately a fatal disease and patients that receive organ transplant must remain on immune suppressants for life. Until a permanent solution is found for immunodeficiency and transplant rejection, patients will continue to develop symptoms of KS. Nurses caring for KS patients administer medications to relieve pain and swelling from tumors. Patients are turned frequently for comfort and to prevent further skin break down. Respiratory and GI function are watched closely for symptoms of tumors forming internally. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can weaken the immune system causing susceptibility to infection. Patients are monitored and treated for side effects such as nausea, vomiting constipation, hair loss, fatigue, redness, peeling and skin itching. KS patients can develop strains of HIV-AIDS resistant to antiviral medications causing a rebound of symptoms. Nurses encourage the patient to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Wearing support stocking and elevating legs help to reduce swelling. The nurse should listen to any of the patient’s questions or fears concerning the disease and offer emotional support. Teaching about safe

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