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Actinic proctitis

Actinic proctitis, also known as radiation proctitis, is a condition that occurs as a result of radiation therapy to the pelvic region, often for the treatment of various cancers such as prostate, cervical, or rectal cancer. Radiation therapy can damage the lining of the rectum and colon, leading to inflammation and irritation of the affected area.

Symptoms of actinic proctitis can include:
Rectal bleeding
Rectal pain or discomfort
Urgency to have a bowel movement
Rectal discharge
Straining during bowel movements
The severity of symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the extent of radiation exposure. In some cases, symptoms may develop during or shortly after radiation therapy, while in others, they may develop months to years later.

Treatment for actinic proctitis focuses on managing symptoms and may include:
Topical treatments: Medications such as corticosteroids or mesalamine suppositories or enemas may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.
Oral medications: Anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.
Diet modification: Avoiding spicy or irritating foods and increasing fiber intake may help reduce symptoms such as diarrhea or rectal bleeding.
Rectal sucralfate: This medication can help protect the lining of the rectum and promote healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: In some cases, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be used to promote healing of damaged tissues.

In severe cases where symptoms do not improve with conservative measures, procedures such as endoscopic treatments or surgery may be necessary to manage complications such as strictures or fistulas.

It’s essential for individuals undergoing radiation therapy to be aware of the potential side effects of treatment and to communicate any symptoms to their healthcare providers promptly. Early detection and management of actinic proctitis can help improve outcomes and quality of life for affected individuals.


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