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Small intestine

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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


Photo of Pat Hartley It didn’t matter how much experience and knowledge I had about cancer. I was in shock.

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