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Diagnosed with rectal cancer. Why am I having smell of alcohol without drinking it?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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I 2 years ago I was diagnosed with rectal cancer rectal cancer and following chem/radio therapy had the tumor removed and have returned to work after a 20 month absence and even though i do not drink i have been accused of smelling of alcohol in my work place i also had stoma reversal is there any reason for smelling of alcohol if I do not drink I am very confused, I have a limited diet after the surgery and do pass wind know that the stoma has been reversed I do eat plenty of veg and fruit
Posted Tue, 2 Apr 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 29 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Such smell of alcohol without drinking it can appear due to Diabetes. It is caused by lack of Insulin which is necessary to transport glucose to the cells. Without glucose, human body starts to digest fat and produces acetone during this process. Acetone is excreted through lungs and with sweat. Other possible symptoms which you may have noticed is increased thirsty, headaches.
It can appear due to pancreas disease (indicated by chemotherapy).
I suggest you to have blood work, amylase, lipase, blood sugar level, urine analysis, ions level performed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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