The main function of the large intestine is to transport waste out of the body and to absorb water from the waste before it leaves. The large intestine connects with the small intestine to the north and freedom (open air) to the south.
When waste first reaches the large intestine, it dumps into it like sludge from a chute. The sludge solidifies as it travels through the large intestine. If all is well, the waste is in solid form (but not too solid) when it reaches the rectum.
The large intestine is the same thing as the large bowel. The main components of the large intestine include the following:
Cancer of the large intestine is often referred to as colorectal cancer.
Source: Bowel. Merriam-Webster Online. 5 Sep. 2006 [http://m-w.com/dictionary/bowel].