Support for Kaposi Sarcoma
Doctors at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center ensure you receive the support services you need throughout your treatment and follow-up care for Kaposi sarcoma.
During regular follow-up appointments, your doctor may perform a physical exam and other tests, such as a biopsy or a chest X-ray, to ensure the cancer has not returned. The schedule for these appointments depends on your health but may occur as often as every three to six months.
If you have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), an infectious disease specialist is an important part of your long-term monitoring, and more frequent appointments may be needed.
Side Effect Management
NYU Langone’s supportive care team provides ongoing treatment of any side effects caused by medication or other therapies for Kaposi sarcoma. Doctors may prescribe additional medications, integrative therapies—conventional and nonconventional techniques known to be safe and effective—or both.
At NYU Langone, integrative health services include massage therapy, which can help to reduce stress, and yoga, which can also help to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing.
Kaposi sarcoma tumors can grow in the lymph nodes and affect nearby lymph vessels. A tumor can block or damage these vessels and cause lymph fluid to build up, leading to swelling and a reduced range of motion and discomfort in the arms and legs. This is called lymphedema.
At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, a physiatrist—a doctor who specializes in rehabilitative medicine—evaluates you and then prescribes physical therapy to help manage lymphedema. Physical therapy often includes range-of-motion and flexibility exercises. This is usually followed by specialized massage therapy, which can help drain the fluid.
Physical therapists can also discuss the early warning signs of the condition, such as aching, tingling, or a feeling of fullness in arms and legs. They can show you how to prevent lymphedema from worsening and teach you ways to manage it. The sooner treatment starts, the more effective the symptom relief.
Psychological and Social Support
Support groups and one-on-one counseling sessions with a psycho-oncologist are available to people who may be experiencing depression or anxiety related to living with Kaposi sarcoma.
Social workers are also available to help you address any financial or logistical matters, such as insurance reimbursement or traveling to appointments, that may arise during treatment.
NYU Langone specialists can connect people who have HIV infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) with a variety of resources, including community support groups and educational programs.
Nutrition and Exercise
NYU Langone doctors encourage you to eat healthfully, especially during treatment for Kaposi sarcoma. Registered oncology dietitians at Perlmutter Cancer Center can provide nutrition counseling.
Physical and occupational therapists at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation offer a program of strength and aerobic exercise to address any weakness or fatigue caused by Kaposi sarcoma or its treatment. After an evaluation, doctors can prescribe a rehabilitation program to help you optimize your independence at home and in your community.
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, may be a side effect of some of the medications used to manage Kaposi sarcoma. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hands, feet, arms, legs, or other parts of the body.
Doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation may prescribe medication to ease any discomfort. They may also prescribe physical therapy to help prevent the neuropathy from interfering with balance and strength and to help you maintain your ability to walk and perform daily activities.
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