'Mr. Castro has been a long-standing aficionado of cigars and alcohol, and those are two common risk factors for esophageal cancer and for peptic ulcer disease,' said Jupiter gastroenterologist Dr. Chester Maxson, who noted those conditions can result in hemorrhaging and require surgery.
...Maxson, chief of staff at Jupiter Medical Center, said knowing the source of the bleeding would help divine the details.
'In the upper gastrointestinal tract, it's pretty clear that the most likely cause of bleeding would be ulcer disease,' he
said. 'Especially in someone who is under stress or who is taking anti-inflammatory agents for arthritis, which we know he
said the most common reason for bleeding in people of Castro's age , almost 80 , is diverticulosis, a colon condition.
'Most diverticular bleeds do stop on their own, but about 25 percent don't.And when they don't, surgery is really the only option.'
If ruptured blood vessels have to be surgically treated in an elderly person, it is serious, Maxson said. 'The mortality approaches 80 percent.'
When it comes to cancer, Maxson
said colorectal cancer is more likely than tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
'In anyone who's almost 80, bleeding from a tumor in either the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract has to be considered,' Maxson