Radiation proctitis is a condition that occurs after radiation to the pelvis. It commonly follows use of pelvic irradiation for prostate cancer, cervical cancer or anal cancer. The lining of the rectum becomes irritated, friable and prone to bleeding.
The condition is diagnosed by inserting a scope or fiberoptic camera into the rectum to identify the severity of the disease following radiation treatment. It does not occur in everyone who receives radiation and treatments are available. Often, the treatment can be applied in the office with a special solution or during endoscopy by use of electrical coagulation of the friable lining. Recurrence may necessitate repeat applications of these therapies to prevent ongoing bleeding.