Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2015; 28(02): 103-111
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1547337
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Radiation Proctopathy

Marc B. Grodsky
1  Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, District of Columbia
Shafik M. Sidani
2  Department of Colorectal Surgery, Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group, Arlington, Virginia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 May 2015 (online)


Radiation therapy is a widely utilized treatment modality for pelvic malignancies, including prostate cancer, rectal cancer, and cervical cancer. Given its fixed position in the pelvis, the rectum is at a high risk for injury secondary to ionizing radiation. Despite advances made in radiation science, up to 75% of the patients will suffer from acute radiation proctitis and up to 20% may experience chronic symptoms. Symptoms can be variable and include diarrhea, bleeding, incontinence, and fistulization. A multitude of treatment options exist. This article summarizes the latest knowledge relating to radiation proctopathy focusing on the vast array of treatment options.