NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,777 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

colon
(KOH-lun)
The longest part of the large intestine, which is a tube-like organ connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus.

EnlargeGastrointestinal (digestive) system anatomy; shows esophagus, liver, stomach, colon, small intestine, rectum, and anus.

Anatomy of the lower digestive system, showing the colon and other organs.

EnlargeParts of the colon; drawing shows the ascending colon, cecum, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum.

The colon includes the ascending colon, cecum, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum.