Colorectal cancer

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If colorectal cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the colon or rectum 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 colorectal cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • nearby lymph nodes (the most common place where colorectal cancer spreads)
  • nearby tissues in the abdomen or pelvis
  • peritoneum
  • distant lymph nodes
  • kidneys
  • adrenal glands
  • liver
  • lung
  • bone
  • brain

peritoneum

The membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis (parietal peritoneum), and covers and supports most of the abdominal organs (visceral peritoneum).

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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.

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