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The treatment of chronic radiation proctitis with hyperbaric oxygen in patients with prostate cancer *

Therapeutic irradiation is commonly used to treat clinically localized prostate cancer. Although radiation therapy is effective for localized prostate cancer, the rectum is often affected because of its proximity to the treated tumour. The incidence of severe chronic radiation proctitis induced by pelvic irradiation is reported to be 2–5%. The symptoms of chronic radiation proctitis include diarrhoea, tenesmus, abdominal pain and rectal bleeding, and perforation, necrosis, stenosis and ulceration of the intestine may occur. The natural history of chronic radiation proctitis is unpredictable. While some patients with mild symptoms may experience remission, others suffer a progressively worsening course that can result in a life-threatening condition.

Chronic radiation proctitis is generally considered to be difficult to manage. Medical treatment with a low–residue diet and steroidal or nonsteroidal enemas has been disappointing. Laser therapy or electrocoagulation is often used to halt rectal bleeding. Although these attempts are initially successful in many patients, recurrence of bleeding is a common problem. Although faecal diversion is the most common operative procedure, this may not always control rectal bleeding and surgical resection of the involved segment may be necessary. Surgical complications are common, with a morbidity and mortality of 10–80%; thus an effective alternative treatment is required, particularly as medical treatment often fails. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was recently reported to be safe and effective for the treatment of chronic radiation proctitis. We report the outcome of HBOT in four patients with chronic radiation proctitis.


* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 04-23-2010
Authors: T. Kitta, N. Shinohara, H. Shirato, H. Otsuka and T. Koyanagi
Source: BJU International 2000 85 (3), 372