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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

duodenum  listen  (DOO-ah-DEE-num)

  The first part of the small intestine. It connects to the stomach. The duodenum helps to further digest food coming from the stomach. It absorbs nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and water from food so they can be used by the body.

Drawing of the small intestine showing the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. Also shown are the stomach, appendix, colon, and rectum.