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Rectal cancer mimic: a rare case of syphilitic proctitis


Syphilitic proctitis is a rare presentation of sexually transmitted infection that poses a diagnostic challenge as it mimics rectal cancer clinically, radiologically and endoscopically. We report a case of a 66-year-old male patient with a background of HIV infection presenting with obstructive bowel symptoms and initial diagnosis of rectal cancer on CT. Sigmoidoscopy and histopathology were non-diagnostic. A diagnosis of secondary syphilis was suspected after obtaining sexual history and diagnostic serology, avoiding planned surgical intervention.

  • infection (gastroenterology)
  • HIV / AIDS
  • syphilis
  • radiology

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