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If colorectal cancer spreads
Cancer cells can spread from the colon or rectum to other parts of the body and develop into a new tumour. The new tumour is called a metastasis, or secondary tumour. If more than one tumour develops in another part of the body, they are called metastases.
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 (the membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis, and covers and supports most of the organs in the abdomen)
- distant lymph nodes
Great progress has been made
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.