Rectal damage


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Surgery but particularly radiotherapy to the rectum (for example for prostate cancer) can cause some chronic inflammation (proctitis). The most common symptoms include:

  • A feeling of urgency or lack of optimal control of the bowels.
  • Mucous discharge from the back passage
  • Intermittent rectal bleeding.

This at the least can be inconvenient or at its worse can lead to embarrassment and anxiety in relation to leaving the house.

What may help?

  • If bleeding persists you should be referred for a rectal scope (colonoscopy) to confirm the diagnosis and exclude something more sinister
  • Avoid constipation regular prunes or something similar to make the stop soft
  • Stop smoking
  • Regular general light exercise
  • Pelvic floor exercises significantly improve the power and control of the rectal muscles and significantly improve control and confidence.

Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.

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