08 February 2008

Cancer to hit SA hard

Kaposi's sarcoma, the main cancer contracted by HIV/Aids-patients, is to become a much bigger problem in SA within five years, says the Cancer Association of South Africa

Kaposi's sarcoma, the main cancer contracted by HIV/Aids-patients, will become a "much bigger problem" in South Africa within five years, Cansa has said.

"Kaposi's sarcoma will become the main fatal cancer in South Africa within five years", said Carl Albrecht, head of research of the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa).

"Right now Kaposi's sarcoma is the primary fatal cancer in the north of South Africa," he said. "HIV/Aids descended from middle Africa to South Africa and now South Africa has the world's highest HIV-death rate. Logically Kaposi's sarcoma, which needs some time to manifest, will follow."

60 000 deaths in SA due to cancer a year
Kaposi's sarcoma is a form of cancer typically found on the skin, but also commonly spreading elsewhere, especially to the mouth. In a statement the organisation said about 60 000 deaths in South Africa were due to cancer per year and 100 000 new cases were diagnosed.

Albrecht said an HIV/Aids patient who died of cancer would be registered by his immediate cause of death - cancer.

"HIV/Aids has become synonymous with cancer due to the increase in certain types of cancers that HIV/Aids patients are diagnosed with." – (Sapa) -February, 2008

Read more:
Clues to Aids-linked cancer
Aids drug may stop cancer


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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

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