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Stomach: An organ that is part of the digestive system. The stomach helps digest food by mixing it with digestive juices and churning it into a thin liquid called chyme and the ejection of the chyme into the small intestine. The stomach lies just below the diaphragm in the upper part of the abdominal cavity primarily to the left of the midline under a portion of the liver. Factors which influence the precise location are food ingestion and respiration (inspiration and expiration). Food leaves the esophagus and enters into this elongated pouch-like structure by way of the cardiac orifice. The main divisions of the stomach are the cardia, the fundus (fornix), the body (corpus) and the antrum. The functions of the stomach are: 1. Absorb water and glucose into the blood stream. 2. Secrete gastric enzymes. 3. Secrete hydrochloric acid (Hcl) which kills bacteria, changes some minerals to salts which are suitable for absorption in the intestine, and adjusts the pH of the chyme to permit the opening of the pyloric sphincter. 4. Produce , the gastric mucosa, the intrinsic factor which is necessary for the absorption of Vitamin B12. 5. Secrete, in the pyloric glands, an alkaline mucous to neutralize the HCl. 6. Churn the food into a semi-liquid substance (chyme) and force it through pyloric sphnicter into the duodenum. The regional nodes for the stomach are the inferior (right) gastric, the superior (left) gastric and the splenic. For additional information, see http://training.seer.cancer.gov/ugi/anatomy/stomach.html

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C16_ Stomach