Acute gastrointestinal complications may or may not be related to the underlying malignancy. In patients with cancer, even gastric cancer, the major causes of gastrointestinal bleeding are still hemorrhagic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Intraarterial hepatic chemotherapy infusions have been associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, especially from the duodenum. Chemotherapy or radiotherapy can cause vomiting, resulting in Mallory-Weiss tears or reflux esophagitis.
Cancer patients with acute abdominal processes present with typical signs and symptoms unless they are receiving exogenous steroids. Acute appendicitis has been reported to occur in up to 4 percent of patients with leukemia.
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