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Opinion Statement

The incidence of chronic, radiation-induced proctitis is between 2% and 5 %. There is not a direct relationship between the incidence of acute radiation proctitis and the subsequent development of chronic proctitis. The treatment for this condition should proceed in a step-wise fashion from conservative therapy such as antidiarrhea medication, topical steroids, sucralfate enemas, and iron replacement to more aggressive treatment in those who do not respond. In the case of persistent rectal bleeding, laser therapy and formalin instillation should be tried prior to surgical intervention. If surgery is necessary, a transverse or descending colostomy should be tried. Aggressive surgery such as rectal resection and colo-anal anastomosis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and should be reserved as a last resort measure.

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Ajlouni, M. Radiation-induced proctitis. Curr Treat Options Gastro 2, 20–26 (1999).

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