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STD Related Terms

- K -

  • Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS)

  • An AIDS-defining illness consisting of individual cancerous lesions caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels. KS typically appears as pink or purple painless spots or nodules on the surface of the skin or oral cavity. KS also can occur internally, especially in the intestines, lymph nodes and lungs, and in this case is life-threatening. There has been considerable speculation that KS is not a spontaneous cancer but is sparked by a virus. A species of herpes virus similar to Epstein-Barr virus is currently under extensive investigation. Up to now, KS has been treated with alpha interferon, radiation therapy (outside the oral cavity) and various systemic and intralesional cancer chemotherapies. KS frequently occurs in immuno-compromised patients, such as those with AIDS.

  • Killer Cell

  • A generalized name for immune system cells that kill cancerous and virus-infected cells. Among the killer cells are killer T-cells (cytotoxic T-lymphocytes), NK (natural killer) cells and K-cells.

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