Colon (anatomy)

part of large intestine

The colon is a part of the large intestine. It is between the cecum and the rectum. The colon takes water from the feces that goes through it. The colon in mammals can be divided into four sections:


Ascending colon


This part of the colon goes from the cecum (where the small intestine ends) up the right hand side of the abdomen.[1]

Transverse colon


This part of the colon goes across the from the ascending colon. It goes underneath the stomach and the pancreas and joins the descending colon near the spleen.[1]

Descending colon


This part of the intestine is about 30 cm in length.[2] It travels down the left side of the abdomen.[1] It is possible to have medical problems with the descending colon including ulcers, cancer and Crohn's disease.[3]

Sigmoid colon


This is the small "S" shaped part of the colon, about 40 cm in length, which goes from the bottom of the descending colon into the centre of the pelvis to the rectum.[1] It gets its name from the Greek letter "s", sigma.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Colon and Rectal Cancer Treatment Information". Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  2. "Instant Anatomy - Abdomen - Areas/Organs - Bowel - Descending colon". Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  3. "What is a Descending Colon?". Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  4. "sigmoid colon (anatomy) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 21 March 2010.

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