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Colon: The part of the large intestine that runs from the cecum to the rectum as a long hollow tube that serves to remove water from digested food and let the remaining material, solid waste called stool, move through it to the rectum and leave the body through the anus.
The colon measures about 5 ft (1.5 m) in length. It goes up (the ascending colon) on the right side of the abdomen, across the abdomen (the transverse colon) beneath the stomach, and then down (the descending colon) on the left side of the abdomen and makes a sharp turn in the left lower portion (the sigmoid colon) to merge with the rectum.
The colon is sometimes inaccurately called the large intestine or large bowel. It is only a part of the large intestine/bowel. The confusion may have arisen because the word "colon" came from "kolon" which to the ancient Greeks meant the large intestine.
Text: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary by MedicineNet, Inc.
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