Stomach cancer

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If stomach cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the stomach to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If stomach cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • pancreas
  • spleen
  • colon
  • small intestine
  • liver
  • mesentery (folds of tissue that hold the abdominal organs in place)
  • omentum
  • diaphragm
  • abdominal wall
  • esophagus
  • adrenal glands
  • lymph nodes in and around the abdomen or above the left collarbone (Virchow node)
  • liver
  • lung
  • bone
  • skin
  • ovaries (Krukenberg tumour)
  • area around the belly button (Sister Mary Joseph node)
  • uterus
  • pelvic area around the rectum (Blumer shelf)
  • brain

omentum

A fold in the peritoneum (the membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis) that covers and supports organs and blood vessels in the abdomen.

The greater omentum hangs down from the bottom of the stomach, covers the small intestine and attaches to the transverse colon (the middle section of the large intestine). The lesser omentum is attached to the top of the stomach and bottom of the liver.

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

Learn more