Canadian Cancer Society logo

Small intestine

You are here: 

If small intestine cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the small intestine to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural). Metastases are also called secondary tumours.

Understanding the usual progression of cancer helps the doctor to predict its probable course, plan treatment and anticipate further care.

The most common sites where small intestine cancer spreads are:

  • through the layers of the small intestine wall
  • nearby tissues and structures, such as
    • other parts of the intestine
    • abdominal wall and structures in the abdominal cavity, including the mesentery and peritoneum
  • nearby lymph nodes
  • liver
  • pancreas
  • lung
  • bone


Tyler Cook This research saved my life and my sister’s life. Without it, stomach cancer would have wiped out most of our family.

Read Tyler's story

Clinical trial discovery improves quality of life

Illustration of test tubes

A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.

Learn more