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Stage 3 liver fibrosis left untreated

What can I expect if stage 3 liver fibrosis with hep C is left untreated? My sister was just diagnosed and is reluctant to get treatment? How quickly does this progress? IF treated what is her longevity?
76 Responses
408795 tn?1324939275
My opinion in this area is to agree with pjhep80, meaning if you were talked into txing call it off.  If I didn't have any symptoms I don't think I would tx as a stage 1.  That's just my opinion, on the other hand I know there's quite a few ppl who can't live being HepC positive.  In that case, it's your decision and that's what you choose to do.  Personally I wouldn't be txing if I didn't have osteoarthritis and acid reflux in the mix.  Also, I'm a recovering addict and I had a serious incident happen to me while overtaxing my liver that quite frankly scared me into txing, after mulling it over for a number of years.  The last thing about me is I'm 55 in Nov.  Txing is very serious and could possibly do you more harm than good, so you really have to think this over alot.  If you've already thought it over and you feel that you can't live being infected with HepC, then do what you have to do.  What ever you decide to do,  good luck and God Bless.
Avatar universal
My best friend found out this past January that she has stage 3- border line 4 liver disease. Her doctor strongly suggested she start treatment (shots in her stomach?). She has hep C as well. She guesses that she has had hep c for 20 years (sharing needles). She refuses to quit drinking (at least 3 beers a day) and refuses to quit smoking (pack a day). I think she wants to die.
I had a neighbor who had the EXACT same thing. She went from Stage 4 to liver cancer to death within 4 months. I watched her die. It was brutal. It still breaks my heart. I hope your sister has gotten treatment. I wish my friend wanted to live more than she needs to smoke and drink.
179856 tn?1333550962
Sadly this happens and my friend died the same way, even after he was transplanted he just kept partying till he died too the same way.

Treatment isn't that bad for most of us.......it sounds like the stopping drinking is the thing that she doesn't really want to do.  I hope that somehow someone can encourage her because you are right at this rate she probably won't have too much time left and end stage liver disease is as you know way worse than treatment/sobriety.

Good luck to YOU.
233616 tn?1312790796
the best advice for someone is denial is to try to get them in for help. Be it a therapist, a pastor, or a family intervention, take your loved one by the hand and say, we have to deal with this now.

The issue with needle biopsy is that while it is still considered the gold standard, it does not do as good a job as a fibroscan, but unfortunately these are not yet in use and very few cities have trained personel, nor do they scan the whole liver.

Those that have scanned the whole liver find that there can be areas at stage 1 and stage 3.   Or in your sisters case, stage 3...she may have areas at stage 2 and areas at stage 4 already. The old thinking was the liver is pretty consistant throughout, but the latest research has disproved this. Ergo you big sis need tx soon lil sis!

The needle only samples one, or 3 areas, the 3 are close together and ergo don't reflex the whole liver...plus the reader of the biopsy has to lean towards one stage or another...some lean towards 3 when they should say 4. This is what happened in my case and the biopsy did not match what the surgery, physical exam and scans all showed.

It sounds like you've got your work cut out for you, and my prayers are with you. With treatment, and abstension, people can live 15-20 yrs longer even at stage 4, but not if nothing is done to stop the virus, and not if the alcoholism continues. I had a friend who did not treat at that stage, and she didn't last long at all...and she didn't drink. So this is a serious matter.

my best to you.

626299 tn?1316711493
I just treated with Peg & Riba and stopped after 12 weeks. I was what they call a slow responder. I started with 9.2M virus load and dropped to 52,000 at 12 weeks. This indicates that my chances of success with the drugs were rather reduced. And I found treatment to be less than a piece of cake.  

There are some very promising drugs in Clinical Trials (CT) that really increase the chances of success.  When I started treating I knew of the study drugs, but my dr failed to refer me for any chances at a CT
When I found out I had Hep C, I wanted to treat right away!

Now  I sort of regret the decision to rush (as in start treating within a few months of diagnosis) into treatment. That is becuase now I am not what they call "treatment naive" (never treated). Many clinical trials require one to be treatment naive. So now I seem to really be (SOL) shi! ouf of luck for drugs that could have moved me from unsuccesful to succesful.

I am not saying your sister shouldnt treat right now, but I am saying that she should ask her doctor to look into trials as other alternatives to the standard course of care.  
Avatar universal
how many stages are there is it graded different depending on country
Avatar universal
this post is from 2007
Avatar universal
hi every one i recently knew that my father in law is suspectd of hept c. we had done some several tests in willington hospital in london S. JAMES WOOD his fibro scan is 10.5kpa and 1.4 range and i honestly dont know that what this figures tells so if any one can help me out in this case let me give you some more details about him he's 85 years old recently quit drinking and doctors had advise him that for him treatment would be more worse for him as compare to disease so all i wanna know is on what stage my father in law is if any one can describe me in deatils that what does this 10.5 kpa means and on what stage he is and how serious this disease is for him...
233616 tn?1312790796
I'm sorry to hear about your dad dear. It's so sad to see our loved ones go downhill.

the numbers confirm what a doctor friend told me concerning fibroscans. That the liver can have areas at various stages of the disease which runs contary to what the biopsy advocates tend to believe, which is that the liver will be firly consistant in it's stage.
IF THE WHOLE LIVER WAS SCANNED you will have a better idea, because one lobe may not relect the other. 1.5 is better than normal, extra healthy, and 9 is not good at all. If you are confident that your technitian was well trained I would call and question them further. Ask what percentile was in the 9 category. The point being he may have pockets of scarring, but lots of healthy tissue, or mostly fibrotic with a few regenerated nodules.

Your dad's age means the chemo could be a far more difficult as well as dangerous course for him than to leave things be and let him enjoy however long he has without toxic chemicals on board. Definitely try to eliminate alcohol and keep other drugs to a minimum.

If someone told me my mom or dad had this at that age, I would not put them through the treatment. The most it would do is postpone the inevitable by a couple of years, and the emotional and physical toll would have them wishing and hoping for death that whole year of treating, assuming they survived it. Not a very good trade off.
Just love and enjoy your dad while you can, he may last a good while yet, but I'd give him the least painful way to exit life, and I'm not sure treatment would fit that bill.
So sorry.

Avatar universal
i just want to say thank you to evryone!! I am late in stage 3 and geno type 1 and just now March 1st able to start the treatment. i had no idea just a routine checkup and physical led to this. I am so glad that my kids urged me to get that physical. i only have a 45-55% chance of it working. But you know what I wouldn't have had any two months ago. my life is important to me but i see now even more important to my kids. i am going to do everything in my power to stay here as long as i can . even if it only gives me 5 minutes longer. i really thought i was alone until i stumbled on all of you. blessed be to all of you and good luck!
Avatar universal
Have you not been reading this forum?Haven`t you seen all the people that had stage 1 liver disease and how fast it went to stage 4.The sooner you treat the better your chances.By waiting till the virus gets worse and there is more liver damage is like playing russian roulete.
1185388 tn?1264624844
I am on the border of f3 and f4. g type 1 and failed the treatment after 6 months. The viral load went from 3 mil to 3 thousand the all of a sudden it went back to 3 mill. The hep c also went from the end of f2 the the end of f3 in one year. I have had hep c for 30 years. Will it progress through f4 fast now. I know you can only guess.
Avatar universal

There are no exacts as to how quickly your fibrosis will progress.  It is known that after around the age of 50, the process does speed up but everyone is different.  Avoiding alcohol is a must along with a healthy diet and lifestyle.  Some have found supplements to be helpful but I don't have much knowledge in that area.  Hopefully those who do will lend their expertise.
The new drugs should be out by next year and are showing great promise in the trials for treatment naives, retreaters and those with compensated cirrhosis.
Keep your chin up, you'll get to see those kids grow up.  Better days are just around the corner.


Avatar universal
my sister died almost 3 years ago leaving behind 3 girls, we never realized her liver was that bad,she was an occasional drinker,drug free,she found out she had liver problems from a physical,she was very active and never had symptoms till the end.

338734 tn?1377163768
Sorry to hear about your sister. Liver disease takes a great toll all around.

This thread is over two years old! If you have a question or need help (particularly about hepatitis C, you should start a new thread (post a question) on this forum.

Best luck!
Avatar universal
i'm at stage 3&4 and started treatment but had to stop because treatment was killing me faster than virus was so, dr's stopped all medications and said we'll just have to wait to see if your body recovers enough to resume some sort of treatment in 4 to 6 months. During my treatment the drugs totally incapacitated me to the point i could not do anything so now i don't know if it's really going to be worth it in the long run.Does anybody have any suggestions about whether or not to go through that hell again when there are no garranties as to how much time it will give me in the first place? By the way i'm 52, kids are all grown, wife's already gone through one bout of breast cancer and plain & simply don't have a lot to look forward too!
Avatar universal
it's confusing when you tack on to another thread that started three years ago, why don't you cut and past your questions and start your own thread by pressing the green post a question at the top of the page. You title the thread, and then put your question in the body.

I think you will get a lot of advice that way,

Welcome to the forum,
1225178 tn?1318984204
First off, you tagged onto a very old thread. Lots of people on here won't read your post because of that. Next time scroll to the top of the page and click on "Post a Question" Then your question will show up at the top of the list and everybody will see it.

Secondly... life has lots of promise at 52. I married a wonderful man at 51 and am happier than I have ever been in my life. You need to take your eyes off of the past and look to the future. That would probably make treatment easier too. I don't think I could do it if I was all alone and had no personal involvement with anybody. This forum helps me alot since most of my friends are busy with their lives and don't understand what I'm going through. I'm on my 18th shot today.

Did you have an hepatologist treating you? Many other doctors aren't aware of the helper drugs that we need to get through this so if you do it again, try to make sure the doctor has lots of experience with the latest treatments. There are new PIs coming out that will increase our chances of clearing the virus and cut down the treatment time, but it will be about a year... from what I am hearing. Keep an eye on the condition of your liver because you don't want to go into cirrhosis if you can help it.

Avatar universal
I am 54 years old w/ Hep C type 3 geno stage 3 liver disease.I tried treatment 5 years ago.was unable to complete .My own busness  my marrage and the affects of the drugs Just wouldnt allow me to go on.Turns out anyway the doctor wasnt giving me enough of a dose .That it wouldnt have done the job I only know now from my new doctor The bad part for me is if i can handle the right amount .My situation at home is not good.the last time i tried i did it with no drugs to relax me.This time against my better judgement i will take something to cut the edge . just want every one to know find a doctor who has a track record in curring people. To not do anything I beleve is wrong Think its gamble no should take. Thanks for listning Andrew  NY
Avatar universal
I also found out about 10 years ago that I have hepc with stage 3 fibrosis. I have been seeing a wonderful Dr. Tobias is Ny, an expert in the field. Treated several times with Ribaviron and Interferon, levels went down to zero and was kept on a maintenance dose.  Levels went back up, still stayed on maintenance for 2 years until insurance company would not pay.  I have been off everything for almost 2 yrs but still monitor levels with bloodwork.  Dr. says there is a new combo of Ribaviron and Interferon and another med.  Will probably try that as soon as its approved.  I feel great and am active, just worried about the next phase of this disease for me!  Thanks for listening.   Monagliff
Avatar universal
I also found out about 10 years ago that I have hepc with stage 3 fibrosis. I have been seeing a wonderful Dr. Tobias is Ny, an expert in the field. Treated several times with Ribaviron and Interferon, levels went down to zero and was kept on a maintenance dose.  Levels went back up, still stayed on maintenance for 2 years until insurance company would not pay.  I have been off everything for almost 2 yrs but still monitor levels with bloodwork.  Dr. says there is a new combo of Ribaviron and Interferon and another med.  Will probably try that as soon as its approved.  I feel great and am active, just worried about the next phase of this disease for me!  Thanks for listening.   Monagliff
Avatar universal
I am so relieved to find a place to ask questions and share. I live in Alberta Canada. I was diagnosed wth HCV in October and am waiting for the word if they will go ahead wth treatments very scared as Ive had it for some time now and dont know if Im a canidate for Interferon. The waiting is horrible. we have no support groups here. Does anyone know of an online HCV support group? Thanks so much.
87972 tn?1322664839
Hi Chicaloo- scroll to the top of this page and click on the green “post a question” button to start your own thread. Welcome-


Avatar universal
Hi there...and welcome to the best on-line HCV support group going :)

You say that you were diagnosed  last Oct. Do you know your Geno type and have you had a biopsy? If you know the answer to these ,we can address you questions about treatment better.

There are new meds coming avail.(most likely in the next year or so in Can.) that will have better success  than the current meds. Has your  Dr. talked to you about these and are you under the care of a hepatologist or a gastroenterologist?

  If you give a little more info. folks can respond  better to any questions you have..


Avatar universal
Check this out and see if any of the Alberta groups (not many, for sure) are close to you.  You have to scroll quite a bit to get to the page that lists them.  This is a good niewsletter, if you want to subscribe yourself.  It's something at least.  Hope this helps some.  I'm in Canada also, although in Ontario.  (Used to live in Grande Prairie years ago though! :)


And I agree...start your own thread if you have questions...wouldn't want you to get lost in this old one.  Good support here.

Avatar universal
my sister in law in at Yale New Haven CT - she is swollen as if she was 12 months pregnant, her legs are black, they keep draining her of fluid, nothing works, they are giving her blood, is this the last stage before she dies....
1229931 tn?1383666939
My doctor said i have Stage 3 fibrosis and Grade B cirrhosis. How can this be if Stage 4 fibrosis = Grade A cirrhosis?  I asked him but he said the internet was incorrect. I've read a lot of stuff and they all say the same thing. I'm wondering if he knows what he is talking about?  The pictures taken when they took my gall bladder out a couple weeks ago show my liver as being all bumpy so it's still regenerating over the scarring.  What does this all mean?  I'm waiting on my blood tests to see what caused my cirrhosis and am not receiving treatment yet.  They told me five years ago that I had a fatty liver and because my liver panels were doubled even did a radiated MRI to look for bone cancer. After that nothing. Last year my liver panels were tripled and they just kept taking blood samples every month or two and gave me anti depressants.  I have been sick for a very long time and because of them not following up and taking anything seriously I am afraid to trust any of them.  Now I have cirrhosis and we could have stopped it. I'm so frustrated!
1747881 tn?1511918860
If you post your question as a new thread you will get better responses.
Avatar universal
60 yr old male, Stage 2, plan to start treatment in about 6 months after returning from Afghanistan.  Have the best hepatologist and primary care physicians.  Can you do 6 months treatment, a break, and resume for another 6 months.  Thanks for all the info, God Bless...mark
Avatar universal
I am a 61 year old female, personal trainer group ex etc in great shape but just found out I have hep C stage 2.   Treating at Hopkins on clinical trial.
Avatar universal
i have just found out what the meaning of KPA is when they told me i had 10.8 kpa i had no idea what that meant in the scale of the stages 1234 but as the new fibroscan means the the biopsy of the liver will soon be a thing of old practice  i have found  little infomation on this kpa charts but my doc did show me the chart but was on he database and have not been able to find another chart but this is what i have found hope this help some 1

Hepatic stiffness was measured in kiloPascal units (kPa) and was interpreted
on the basis of Metavir score: no or mild fibrosis (score, F0–F1) when liver stiffness is below 7.1 kPa, and fibrosis with septa or cirrhosis (F2–F4) when above 7.1 kPa.
Avatar universal
richace1974    I was diagnosed with stage 3 fibrosis today, and am starting treatment soon. Your comment is soo informative, and encouraging for me. Thanks, god bless, and good luck everyone.
Avatar universal
The treatment is very hard, I just finished mine up .. a change in diet and staying active during treatment really helped me, get on anti-depresents right away and ride it through.

It *****, but its better then a liver transplant or being dead
5201394 tn?1365046728
I was just diagnosed with stage 3 fibrosis and I am just wondering if any1 knows wat the treatment is like and the side affects I am really scared and I want help to try and stop progression of this to stage 4
Avatar universal
I've just found out I've liver fibrossis I've also got hep  c does anyone have any info they can give
Avatar universal
I've just found out I've liver fibrossis early onset of cirrhosis I've also got hep c does anyone have any useful info
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed today with stage 3 liver disease etiology unknown. No Hep C, no alcohol/drug abuse.
I have psoriatic arthritis and have been on Remicade and Methotrexate for about 10 years.
had a biopsy in hopes it could show what the cause is. No go.
I am going to UCLA Liver institute next week.
right now the thought is Methotrexate damage or Auto immune hepatic damage.
it's the pits! I am 61, I have a brand new grandson....my hubbie is retiring......
5909323 tn?1376921035
As a wife of someone with Hepatitis C who's almost at the stage of having cirrhosis, I just beg anyone who is contemplating starting treatment, to please talk to your doctor and consider the treatment.  The people who love you don't want to watch you get cirrhosis or liver cancer and they will do whatever they can to help you through, trust me - I'm doing it right  now!

Avatar universal
I'm a 72 year old man. Was diagnosed with hep c 7 years ago stage 4 cirrhosis.I Drove ambulance and had a partnership in a funeral home 1970
that's where I contracted the hep. it did not show up till 2006 when I was diagnosed I was down for 1 year. I hade a transplant sept. 21 2007 six weeks after my transplant I passed my dot physical two weeks later I was back driving a truck. I retired at 68 I now train drivers in handleing hazardous material and the proper way to drive a tanker. I went in for my 6 year check up on sept 20th and there have been no changes.The doctors say just keep doing what I'v been doing. I have never taken any treatments for the hep c. We have discust it, and I am considering it but at my age if I can not stay active I may just wait it out.
This is not to say any one else should make the same choice I have.
every one has to make the choice that's rite for them.
Good luck with what ever you deceid.
Avatar universal
I also failed in tx - sounds like exact same path finally getting so anemic I could not walk and the bad labs shot back up. This was a few years ago and I am now told there is a new "shorter" tx but still with most of the same drugs and a new one added.The new Tx is only a couple months with a much higher cure rate .Problem is it is very expensive, and my docs don't think medicare will pay for  it. I dread tx but desperately need it as stage III. I HAVE LIVED with hep C for 40 years now after originally being in critical condition/hospitalized for 3 months. What I want to say is check for new treatments! I am disappointed that my doctor "forgot about me" and I just now found out about the new treatment. We need to stay aggressive on our own behalves.
Avatar universal
Dear Randy,
I am reading your story and wondered how you are doing. My brother is your age and had the same diag. Just was wondering what we can expected from here.

Avatar universal
I'm a 25 year old male. I have Hep C and Chronic Liver Disease with Stage 3 fibrosis, genotype 2B. I think I've had it my whole life, I have a younger brother with the same diagnosis and I found out when I donated blood after joining the Army at 18. I started treatment at 18 years old in 2007 and made it 5 weeks and unfortunately lost insurance and had to stop, but at least I did show no detection in my 4th week but it came back. I just completed 24 weeks of treatment with Ribaviron 1200mg a day, and 1 Pegylated Interfuron shot each week. I was really lucky to only experience feeling kinda tired and sore each day but it was not bad enough to stop or need anything to help. I'm just so happy to have been able to complete therapy this time. At least for now, I showed undetectable from 4 weeks again and I just did labs about 3 weeks after completing therapy and still nothing back. I know that a better treatment option just came out around the time I was finishing up. If anyone reads this and is still questioning treatment, please take it if you have the opportunity! Even if my virus comes back I know that for awhile I was able to keep the viral load down and I did see my liver enzymes come down to a near normal level. Its scary but your not alone...
Avatar universal
Once you hit stage four and are compensated, if treated you have a 50% chance of being right where you are 10 years from now according to the doctor I saw a Duke.
Avatar universal
what is the treatment for a person with stage 3 fibroscan?
683231 tn?1467326617
Hi Fifty
Do you have hep C. Do you know your genotype?

If so you need to treat the underlying cause of your firboscan score. Are you seeing a hepatologist (liver specialist) they can best help you determine what is your best option for treatment.

Also I would suggest as this is a very old thread you go to the link at the top right of the page and click the orange link "post a question"

That way you will get your question noticed and more answers to your question.

Good luck
Avatar universal
Hi I was diagnosed with Hep C 1.5 years ago did Pegasys for 6 months said I was cured 6 months after treatment.  I wasnt feeling well a month ago so went back to doctor and now its detected.  I got Hep C from a pedicure I feel so lost and confused and now dont know what to do I am 46 and wonder how fast this will progress at my age since I have symptons now.  This is a scary disease I go see the dr tomorrow and I am very scared :(
Hang in there i got same thing .just got aproved for harvoni..and am stage 3 fibborsis.
683231 tn?1467326617

Sorry to here of your situation. If it helps I have had hep c since probably 1978 I treated three times with interferon based treatment but was a null responder. I have had cirrhosis since January 2008 but it took me many years to get to that point. And even with cirrhosis I am still basically ok.

There are new, highly effective treatments, that are much shorter duration and much more easily tolerated by most. So hang in there and see your liver specialist. The medicine you most likely will get is Harvoni possibly for 24 weeks since you are treatment experienced it depends on also how damaged your liver is.

Also I would suggest as this is a very old thread you could go to the link at the top right of the page and click the green link "post a question"

That way you will get your question noticed and more answers to your question.

Best to you
Avatar universal
I'm 65, discovered the Hep C in 2000 after Dr. ordered test after seeing elevated liver enzyme levels. Probably had it since blood transfusions 50 years ago. Did 48 week treatment in 2009 (weekly Interferon injections, Ribavirin twice daily) which was unsuccessful. Re-treated in 2012 with triple-drug therapy and was successful. Fibrosis is Level 4 but overall I feel good, aging issues aside. Not sure where it will go from here, I eat organic now, no booze (of course) and look after myself the best I can. Treat the Hep-C as soon as you can to minimize damage. Treatments are easier now with some as short as 12 weeks and with high success rates. If the cost isn't covered by your insurance, or lack of it, it may help to contact the makers of the drugs. I was able to get a huge discount when I treated in 2009 by doing so. The co-pays would have been substantial. My lifespan may have been shortened by all this, the fibrosis may also contribute to that. I'm going to love life, love my wife and family, continue to pursue my dreams and be grateful for the life I have had. Someday there will be a vaccine and others won't have to fear this disease that now is expected to dwarf the mortality rate of HIV.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your words of encouragement!
Avatar universal
No one can answer how long it takes for stage 3 to progress to stage 4. In some people it has happened in a short time and in others it takes a very long time. I wonder why your sis does not want treatment. It is fairly easy now, of shorter duration, with fewer side effects than the old treatments. And best of all, it cures well over 90% of patients.
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