Glossary Term:


barium enema


<b>bear</b>-ee-um <b>en</b>-uh-muh


a method sometimes used to help diagnose colorectal cancer. Barium sulfate, a chalky liquid, is used to enlarge and partly fill the colon (large intestine). When the colon is about half-full of barium, air is pushed in to cause the colon to expand further. This allows good x-ray films to be taken. This procedure may be called a double contrast barium enema. See also barium sulfate, colon, colorectal cancer.