This is my first post. And, being that I'm female, I will start by saying that my radiation proctitis is from radiation therapy I had for treating rectal cancer. However, since they did not have a forum for colorectal cancer, and since the prostate is in the same area and holds the same side effects, I headed to this forum to try and get some help.
Here is a little background info before asking my question.
I had a very easy time with my radiation therapy ... in fact, the clinic where I was treated said that I had the easiest time of any patient they've treated for a rectal tumor. Oddly, it was at the end of my treatment period, when they lowered my radiation dose and further honed in the radiation field (so that less healthy tissue was being hit), that I started getting side effect symptoms. It started with my bladder ... urgency, bleeding, bladder spasms, general pelvic pain. They took me off of radiation treatment and in approximately three weeks, my bladder was healed and happy again
My mom's birthday/Mother's Day was just a few days away and since I was feeling better (and still had the week off of treatment) I decided to go home to surprise my mom. Well, two days after my mom's birthday, on May 15th, my proctitis symptoms started ... very minor at first. Over the next week, the symptoms worsened and progressed to a definite case of radiation induced proctitis: extreme pain with bowel movements, blood streaked mucus and periods of minor bleeding, passing mucus, bowel urgency.
My doctor first wanted to start me on Proctofoam, but I chose not to start with that medication. I don't want to use cortisone-based meds, since they can weaken the (already damaged) tissue and cortisone meds also have a strong pr
opensity toward producing a rebound effect (where symptoms get worse when the med is stopped). Instead, I was started on Canasa suppositories, which definitely helped with the inflammation and very *temporarily* provides some symptom relief. After two weeks, with limited improvement, the doctor added Carafate/Sucralfate enemas, a 2 gram solution twice per day. Since using Carafate/Sucralfate for radiation proctitis is considered "off use", there isn't information regarding "how to" use the enema - my doctor prescribed it based on the research efficacy, which provides dosing information, but not information on administering the enema. Sometimes I can hold the enema for a decent amount of time, but other times, the enema initiates some rectal inflammation and holding the fluid is difficult. My doctor could not find any information on how long the enema *needs* to be held to actually have time to work.
Soooo, my question is to those using a Carafate/Sucralfate enema for radiation proctitis, what is the *minimum* amount of time you were told you need to hold the enema for it to work? Also, anything that you found that made the enema work better? Lastly, with using both Canasa suppositories (I use 500mg suppositories 3 to 4 times daily) and Carafate together, is there anything that you've found that makes the two medications work better (i.e. timing).
One other question I have ... in addition to the damage caused by radiation to the rectal area, I had internal hemorrhoids before receiving radiation and can feel the hemorrhoidal tissue inside my rectum when I put the suppository in place. Is there something that works better for the hemorrhoid pain ... or do the Canasa and Carafate help with that too?
Thank you ALL for your support on this forum and thank you, in advance, for any advice you can offer!