Colorectal Cancer: Medical Illustrations

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find a basic drawing of the main body parts affected by this disease. To see other pages, use the menu. 

This illustration shows the 5 sections of the colon and rectum. The ascending colon is the beginning the large intestine into which the small intestine empties; it begins on the lower right side of the abdomen and then leads up to the transverse colon. The transverse colon crosses the top of the abdomen from right to left, leading to the descending colon, which takes waste down the left side. Finally, the sigmoid colon at the bottom takes waste a few more inches, down to the rectum. A cross-section of the rectum and sigmoid colon shows where waste leaves the body, through the anus. Copyright 2004 American Society of Clinical Oncology. Robert Morreale/Visual Explanations, LLC.

For medical illustrations showing the different stages of colorectal cancer, please visit the Stages section.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and Prevention. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing this disease. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.