Stomach cancer and the lymphatic system

The lymphatic system helps protect us from infection and disease. Stomach cancer can sometimes spread to the lymph nodes close to the stomach.

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system helps protect us from infection and disease. It is made up of fine tubes called lymphatic vessels. These vessels connect to groups of small lymph nodes throughout the body. The lymphatic system drains lymph fluid from the tissues of the body before returning it to the blood.

Lymph nodes are sometimes called lymph glands. They filter bacteria (germs) and disease from the lymph fluid. When you have an infection, some lymph nodes may swell as they fight the infection.

Stomach cancer and lymph nodes

Stomach cancer can sometimes spread to the lymph nodes close to the stomach. If you have surgery to remove stomach cancer, your surgeon will usually remove some lymph nodes to check for cancer cells.

The stomach and surrounding lymph nodes