Understanding the basics
Considering how important your colon is to you on a day-to-day basis—and the serious nature of conditions such as colorectal cancer—it’s smart to be informed about your colon. This website is an important step in helping you to be better informed. In particular, it offers insights into the exams used to diagnose and screen for potential problems, and a minimally invasive alternative that provides an optimal balance of minimizing risk and anxiety with high accuracy*.
Your colon: where it is and what it does
Also known as the large intestine, your colon is an approximately 1.8 meter or six-foot long muscular tube at the end of your digestive tract that connects your small intestine to your rectum. It’s responsible for processing waste, including removing water, so that emptying your bowels is easy and convenient.
Your colon is comprised of: the cecum (the beginning of the colon in the lower right abdomen), the ascending colon (on the right), the transverse colon (across the top), the descending colon (on the left), and the sigmoid colon (at the end, connected to the rectum).
Potential conditions: with or without symptoms
When your colon is not functioning properly, you may exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, or bleeding. The cause might be something simple or possibly a more serious concern. Tests that allow a doctor to directly visualize the inside of the entire colon, such as PillCam COLON, can be a tremendous aid in diagnosing these and other problems.
You can, however, have a serious condition such as colorectal cancer and still not have any symptoms. Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer in men and the second most common cause in women. Treatment is more effective, and survival rates are higher, when colorectal cancer is found in its early stages. That’s why regular screening is so important. PillCam COLON offers a convenient and accurate screening tool for colorectal cancer.
*"High accuracy" means more than 50% likely to detect large polyps as defined by Levin B, et al. Screening and Surveillance for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Adenomatous Polyps, 2008: A Joint Guideline from the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA Cancer J Clin 2008;58:00-00.