The liver is a football-sized organ that sits in the upper right portion of the abdomen, beneath the diaphragm and above the stomach. There are several different types of cancer that can develop in the liver cell. Cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer that begins in the liver cells.
If a person notices their stools are a white, chalky colour this could mean liver cancer, notes Mayo Clinic.
Other symptoms to look out for include losing weight without trying, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, general weakness and fatigue, abdominal swelling and yellow discolouration of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
The NHS said: “Visit your GP if you notice any of the symptoms listed. They’re more likely to be the result of a more common condition, such as an infection but it’s best to have them checked.”
Why a person’s stools change colour
The colour of stools varies but typically falls within the spectrum of brown colour depending on the foods one eats.
Bile from the liver creates the typical brown hue of a healthy bowel movement.
When the stool is very pale, it often means that not enough bile is reaching the stool.
Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing liver cancer include chronic infection, cirrhosis, certain inherited liver diseases, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, exposure to aflatoxins or excessive alcohol consumption.
It’s strongly advised to drink alcohol in moderation as it could cause cirrhosis which is the scarring of the liver and this increases a person’s risk of liver cancer.
If you notice your stools have changed in colour speak to your GP about the possible cause.