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A 25-year-old member asked:

Could radiation for prostate cancer cause rectal bleeding?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Moez Khorsandi
Urology 28 years experience
Yes: One of the potential side effects for radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer is rectal bleeding. This can occur after brachytherapy or external beam therapy. This is called proctitis and is generally mild and self-limiting. It usually does not require any treatment other than conservative management such as maintaining soft bowel movements, hydration, and monitoring of blood work.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Kenneth Pienta
Hematology and Oncology 36 years experience
This bleeding can occur as long as 10 years after radiation
Nov 20, 2011
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Radiation Oncology 34 years experience
Yes: External radiation with latest method which is image guided has minimized the dose to the rectum but it is still possible and fairly common. Most cases resolve and easily managed but can be a recurring issue. I find rectal bleeding almost zero or less chance of happening in radiation with seeds or brachytherapy radiation methods.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 48 years experience
Yes. But usually: Years after. Bleeding during radiotherapy is usually hemorrhoids. Proctitis occurs in 2-15% between 3 and 10 years with modern treatment, and mostly can be arrested by simple endoscopic procedure and a laser like treatment. Bladder and rectal problems are of low frequency now.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 39-year-old member asked:

Is rectal bleeding associated with prostate cancer?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Moez Khorsandi
Urology 28 years experience
Possibly: Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer, rectal bleeding can be present. However, if it an early stage prostate cancer, rectal bleeding is generally not associated with prostate cancer. Also, previous radiation treatment for prostate cancer may cause rectal inflammation and cause subsequent rectal bleeding but this generally resolves over time.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Steven Tucker
Internal Medicine 28 years experience
Generally, it is an uncommon symptom for prostate cancer. It is more frequent in rectal and some lower colon cancers.
Jul 24, 2012

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Last updated Mar 6, 2019
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