John Libbey Eurotext

Dermato Mag


Keep your English up to scratch!… Volume 7, numéro 3, Juillet-Août-Septembre 2019


Dear readers,

Are you ready to brush up your dermatological English? It is our very great pleasure to present the twenty-fifth English corner based on Kaposi's sarcoma. Don’t forget you can use a dictionary to help you with the text, and of course, you should visit our website at to work on your pronunciation or build your medical vocabulary. The site also includes a talking dictionary, medical videos, exercises, clinical cases, words and expressions for specialists…

Kaposi's sarcoma

Kaposi's sarcoma is a skin cancer that occurs1 in people with a weakened2 immune system. It is associated with herpes virus infection – Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV). There are various forms, including classical, or Mediterranean KS, a very rare skin cancer confined mainly3 to older men of Mediterranean, Eastern European or Jewish4 origin. Classical KS develops slowly and tends not to spread5. The second form is an endemic form occurring mainly in people living in Equatorial Africa, where malnutrition, malaria and chronic infections take their toll6 on the body's natural defences. African KS tends to affect younger people, women and children especially. Another form, iatrogenic KS, occurs in people who have undergone7 organ transplant surgery and whose immune system has therefore been supressed8 to prevent rejection of the graft9. Those with KSHV infections may develop KS. In such patients, reducing the dose of the immune-supressing drugs may cause10 the lesions to shrink11 or even disappear. Today, most people have heard about Kaposi's sarcoma because of its association with the AIDS pandemic. Indeed, it is an AIDS-defining illness, meaning that when a person with HIV infection develops KS, he or she is officially recognised as having full-blown12 AIDS. The onset13 of the KS is still due to KSHV, but the immune system has been weakened by the HIV infection. In these patients, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can inhibit the development of KS. In the absence of HAART, KS is rapidly progressive in people with AIDS.

Kaposi's sarcoma develops from cells that line14 the lymph or blood vessels and the lesions usually appear on the skin or the mucosa, especially inside the mouth. They can also affect the lymph nodes, the gastrointestinal tract or the lungs15. Internal lesions may cause bleeding16.

KS lesions on the skin are pinkish17 brown, raised18 and sharply19 defined nodules which can occur anywhere, but are more frequently found on the legs or face. If they occur on the legs or in the groin20 area, they may cause painful swelling21 of the legs or feet, but otherwise22 they are symptom-free23.

For localized KS, if detected early, radiotherapy is an effective24 treatment. In more advanced cases, chemotherapy may be needed. In people with AIDS, although KS is the defining illness, it is rarely the cause of death.

1. appear (= se produire)

2. enfeebled (= affaibli)

3. principally (= surtout)

4. followers of Judaism (= juif)

5. propagate (= se propager)

6. damage (= endommager)

7. endure (= subir)

8. inhibited (= inhiber/déprimer)

9. transplanted tissue (= griffon, greffe)

10. make (= faire/provoquer)

11. diminish in size (= diminuer)

12. veritable AIDS (= SIDA caractérisé)

13. start (= début)

14. cover (= tapisser)

15. main respiratory organs (= poumons)

16. haemorrhage (= saignement)

17. light red (= rosâtre)

18. elevated (= surélevé)

19. clearly defined (= bien défini)

20. inguinal area (= l’aine)

21. enlargement (= gonflement)

22. if not (= sinon)

23. without symptoms (= sans symptômes)

24. efficacious (= efficace)

1. Make coherent sentences using the jumbled words below.

1. read / you / last week's / Have / British Journal of Dermatology?

2. an incurable / ’s / disease. / is / Alzheimer

3. operation. / tomorrow / is / The surgeon / of / certain / of / the success / ’s

4. ’d / to check / a colleague / I / of / like / the lab results / mine. / with

5. doctor / The old man / does not / he’ll / think / ’s / survive.

6. mother's / birthmark / ’s / untreatable. / ’s / Terry

2. Translate the following with a medical dictionary, if necessary.

1. l’angiome stellaire

2. la trisomie 21

3. la maladie de Lyme

4. la maladie de Basedow

5. l’érythème en papillon

6. le sarcome de Kaposi

7. la maladie des griffes du chat

8. le syndrome de Wolff-Parkinson-White

9. le syndrome des jambes sans repos

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