Ask the Doctor
July 16, 2013

Is my drinking to blame?

Dear Doc,

I have been experiencing weight loss, light coloured stool and mild abdominal pains and my wife noted that my eyes are bit yellow. I believe it is my drinking is to blame. What else should I consider?{{more}}


Dear Ernesto,

Maybe you are right.

Abdominal pain, yellow eyes, weight loss and light coloured stool, along with a history of long-term consumption of alcohol is highly suspicious of a condition called cirrhosis of the liver.

In view of that, maybe you are right. It must also be noted that any obstruction of the flow of the products through the liver or disruption of the function of the liver can have these signs and symptoms.

The liver is a central organ of the body and is located in the abdomen under the right set of lower ribs. We must never rule out the fact that cancers can develop within the liver and that cancers can spread to the liver. Conditions that favour or trigger cancers developing within the liver include cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol consumption and hepatitis caused by infections, as possible with Hepatitis A, B and C.

The signs and symptoms of liver cancers can be silent for long periods before they are evident. By virtue of such long periods of silence, the diagnosis of cancer of the liver when the symptoms appear at times can carry poor prognosis.


SVG Cancer Society,
P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.
Phone: 526-7036