What is Proctopathy?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Prostate health is perhaps one of the most important issues faced by men over the age of fifty. Many doctors recommend increasing the frequency of examinations for early detection of prostate problems during later years. While many men do not consider a prostate exam to be the highlight of the annual checkup, the fact is that proctology has saved quite a few lives. A number of men are alive today because this form of medical practice successfully identified conditions that were ripe for the development of prostate cancer, making quick and effective treatment possible.

The risk for developing what is known as radiation proctopathy during or even months after prostate cancer treatment, however, is very real. Here are some things you should know about the nature of proctopathy, its symptoms, and possible treatments to correct the problem.


Radiation proctopathy occurs as a complication during or after treatments for cancerous growths, such as prostate cancer. Generally, the symptoms associated with proctopathy may begin as something very simple, such as mild diarrhea. Over time, the diarrhea may increase in severity and be accompanied by increased urgency to void more often. As the condition of proctopathy becomes more pronounced, these symptoms may be joined with a consistent sense of pain in the rectum. Finally, rectal bleeding may begin to occur and continue with increasing frequency. It should be noted that symptoms do not always present themselves immediately. A man may not begin to exhibit symptoms for up to seven months after receiving treatments for prostate problems.

When the presence of radiation proctopathy is detected early on, there has been some success with the administration of taking a Vitamin A supplement. However, proctopathy often will require some sort of intervention. Procedures such as argon bean laser treatments to repair damage, or the use of argon plasma coagulation have proven to be very effective in correcting proctopathy and repairing any damage caused by the condition.

As with any internal health issue, proctopathy is most easily dealt with if the condition is discovered early in its development. For men who have been through an invasive procedure for a prostate problem, follow up with the doctor will help in early detection. In addition, men should not shrug off any of the symptoms for radiation proctopathy as a temporary problem resulting from the previous surgical procedure. Informing the physician immediately of the presence of any of these symptoms can save a great deal of time, money, and pain.


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Post 2

@cellmania- I, personally, have experienced the same thing, as far as the Vitamin A overdose. I was on a vitamin kick for a while and went overboard. I was taking in way too much Vitamin A and I had acute toxicity. I experienced nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, dizziness, and bad headaches. I didn’t think I could get sick with all of the vitamins I was taking. I was very wrong.

After I got over the sickness, which took quite some time, I educated myself on the acceptable amounts of Vitamin A that a person can take. For an adult, the acceptable intake is 3,000 mcg (10,000 IU).

I looked it up on the internet regarding how much is

used in the treatment of proctopathy. On the website that I found, it stated that they use a suppository that contains between 1000 and 500,000 IU of a certain antioxidant that is selected from groups of Vitamins A, C, and E. I am not sure how much of each is used but I am sure that under medical care, the doctors could better advise your uncle if it came to that point. Hopefully, that will not happen.

Post 1

Does anyone know how much Vitamin A is used in the treatment of radiation proctopathy? The reason I was wondering is because my uncle has recently went through treatment for prostate cancer.

A few years ago, he experienced Hypervitaminosis A which was due to taking in an extreme amount of vitamin A. It became toxic and he was very sick. So, I was just curious what the safe level of Vitamin A is. I didn't know you could "overdose" on vitamins until that happened.

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