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Radiation-induced bowel damage occurred in 4.3% of patients treated primarily by irradiation for uterine carcinoma during the period 1962-1982. There has been a progressive rise in the incidence of radiation damage and radiation-induced rectovaginal fistula during this 20-year period. Radiation from intracavitary sources was a contributory factor in 92% of injured cases. The rising incidence of bowel damage in our patients may be due to an increase in the number of patients receiving a high rectal dose from the intracavitary source. There was a significantly (P less than 0.01) higher incidence of radiation injury in cases of cervical carcinoma compared to endometrial carcinoma. This was because cervical carcinoma tended to present at a more advanced stage than endometrial carcinoma and was more frequently treated with combined external and intracavitary irradiation. There was no significant increase in the incidence of complications among patients undergoing hysterectomy.