Radiation proctitis is a potential prostate radiation side effect. It is an inflammation of the rectum that can occur as a result of damage to the rectum from radiation for prostate cancer.
Patients who have had radiation directed to areas around their rectum have an increased risk of developing radiation proctitis. The rectum is the last several inches of the large intestine and is the section of the digestive tract where stool is held before it passes out of the body through the anus. Due to its close proximity to the prostate, the rectum is most at risk for radiation beam exposure. Radiation proctitis could be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) depending on the timing relative to radiation therapy.