AIDS-Associated tumours

What is it?

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) caused by HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) attacks the body's immune system. In AIDS, the body can no longer fight off disease successfully. As a result, certain cancers, infections, diseases of the nervous system and muscles occur more easily in individuals infected with HIV compared to healthy people. Cancers seen more frequently in AIDS include Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphomas, cancers of the cervix and the anus. Kapsoi's sarcoma often manifests itself as raised purplish-red bumps on the skin. These bumps can vary greatly in size. Lymph nodes, the intestines and the lungs can also be affected. In fact, any part of the body can be affected by this tumour. Several kinds of lymphomas can occur including those which involve the brain exclusively.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of AIDS-associated cancers relate to the affected organs like the skin, internal organs of the body, or the lymphatic system.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis of a cancer can be suspected on the symptoms and the results of the physical examination. Kaposi's sarcoma is diagnosed by a biopsy of any purple patch or sore on the skin or mucous membrane. Lymphoma and the other cancers require a biopsy of the affected lymph nodes.

What is the treatment?

Treatment for AIDS-associated cancers include:

  • Chemotherapy: This uses drugs that kill the tumour cells.
  • Radiotherapy: is also used to destroy cancerous growths and slow
    their spread.
  • Combination therapy: Treatment includes a combination of surgery,
    chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

What are the prevention?

  • Avoid sexual contact with HIV infected individuals or use a condom during sex.
  • Ensure the barber doesn't reuse blades.
  • Intravenous drug users shouldn't share needles.
  • HIV infected individuals should not donate blood, semen, or body
  • Breast feeding should be avoided because the virus can be
    transmitted to the infant.

By: DoctorNDTV Team

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