Fibrosis of the liver can take years to develop into cirrhosis, according to the U.S. Veterans Administration. Some people with fibrosis never develop cirrhosis, and the earlier the fibrosis is treated the more likely the liver is to heal itself, notes the American Liver Foundation.
Cirrhosis occurs when fibrosis scarring reaches a point where the liver can no longer heal itself, explains the American Liver Foundation. Symptoms of cirrhosis, which can lead to liver cancer, include water retention in the abdomen or legs, yellow coloring of skin and eyes, onset of type 2 diabetes, new sensitivity to medications, and easy bruising and bleeding.
Liver failure may occur if cirrhosis remains untreated. Initial symptoms of liver failure include, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite, according to the American Liver Foundation. Progressive symptoms of liver failure include disorientation, confusion, and the possibility of coma or death.