The colon, also known as the large intestine, is divided into four parts: the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon. The colon removes water, salt, and nutrients, forming a stool.

Common colon disorders:


Colitis is caused by inflammatory bowel disease, which results in an inflamed or swollen colon.

Colon cancer

Colon cancer starts in the glands in the lining of the colon and rectum.  Typically, colon cancer starts as benign cancer polyps that slowly develop into cancer.  Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.  Early diagnosis is key to helping prevent and treat the spread of colorectal cancer.

Crohn’s disease

An inflammatory disease that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea, affecting the colon and intestines.


Diarrhea causes frequent, loose, and watery stool, usually from infections of the colon or small intestine.

Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis

When diverticuli become inflamed or infected, causing abdominal pain, constipation, or bleeding.


When bacteria called salmonella contaminate food and infect the intestine.  Salmonella causes diarrhea and stomach cramping.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the colon and rectum.