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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


ileum  listen  (IH-lee-um)

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

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