CSN Login
Members Online: 19

Radiation Proctitis

chaybay56's picture
chaybay56
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2012

I had chronic radiation proctitis for at least 6 months during the winter of 2010-2011 but it cleared up after treatment and it finally went away by summertime. I 'thought' my doctor told me that once it went away it would not come back, but I am having increasing symptoms that it is returning. Can it come back? I have an appointment with my colon rectal surgeon for a post PET follow-up on the 31st..still uptake but all past colonoscopies have proved this to be inflammation, so praying that it still is...but not looking forward to dealing with the proctitis again! Could it be something else?

Cherryl

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2979
Joined: Jan 2010

My understanding of radiation proctitis is that it is a chronic condition that can flare up on occasion but for most people is not present all the time. I believe this is true in my own case, as I have bouts of it now and then. Most of the time though, I do not have any symptoms. I can have flare-ups when I get constipated or having a really hard bowel movement or eat a lot of spicy foods.

I hope your doctor concurs on the 31st. that the uptake on your recent PET scan is inflammation. My rad onc told me that I could get PET scans for the rest of my life and would always have some uptake in the anal area, due to inflammation and irritation. If you think about it, it's an area that never gets left alone to heal, so his explanation makes sense to me. I wish you all the best and hope you'll let us know what you find out.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Martha and Cherryl,

I've often heard reference to 'radiation proctitis' but don't exactly know what the symptoms are - can you explain what you mean by radiation proctitis? Thanks!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2979
Joined: Jan 2010

I copied this from the Wikipedia site and I hope it answers your question.

Radiation proctitis can occur at two times after treatment:
Acute radiation proctitis — symptoms occur in the first few weeks after therapy. These symptoms include diarrhea and the urgent need to defecate, often with inability to do so (tenesmus). Acute radiation proctitis usually resolves without treatment after several months, but symptoms may improve with butyrate enemas.[1][2] This acute phase is due to direct damage of the lining (epithelium) of the colon.
Chronic radiation proctitis — symptoms may begin as early as several months after therapy but occasionally not until several years later. These symptoms include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, painful defecation, and intestinal blockage. Intestinal blockage is a result of narrowing of the rectum which blocks the flow of feces. Connections (fistulae) may also develop between the colon and other parts of the body such as the skin or urinary system. Chronic radiation proctitis occurs in part because of damage to the blood vessels which supply the colon. The colon is therefore deprived of oxygen and necessary nutrients. Symptoms such as diarrhea and painful defecation may be treated with oral opioids and stool softeners, respectively. Complications such as obstruction and fistulae may require surgery. Several other methods are under development as of 2005 to lessen the effects of radiation proctitis. These include sucralfate, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, corticosteroids, metronidazole, argon plasma coagulation, and radiofrequency ablation.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2011

Thanks for the information!

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network