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Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is an unpredictable, progressive disorder that may be inherited or acquired through spontaneous genetic mutation, and it varies in medical, physical and psychological manifestations. NF consists of three genetic disorders that cause tumors to grow around the nerves. 

Although most tumors caused by NF are benign, they may still cause problems with the spinal cord and surrounding nerves, including paralysis in some patients. Nearly 10% of tumors will develop into malignant cancers. For patients with malignant tumors and tumors affecting the spine, early detection and treatment offers the best chance of survival and prevention of debilitating side effects.

Approximately 100,000 Americans have a NF disorder such as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and schwannomatosis. The most diagnosed type, NF1, affects around 1 out of every 3,500 births while schwannomatosis and NF2 are rarer, affecting about 1 in 40,000 births.

If your child has been diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

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Neurofibromatosis Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

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Childhood Neurofibomatosis Types

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is the most common neurological disorder caused by a single gene. Most NF1 patients have mild to moderate symptoms, but it is a progressive disorder that can lead to disfigurement, skeletal abnormalities and learning disabilities.

Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is much rarer than NF1 and is characterized by tumors on the vestibular nerve. NF2 brings an increased risk of other types of nervous system tumors and may cause severe vision problems.

Schwannomatosis has been distinguished more recently from NF1 and NF2 by the presence of multiple schwannomas (tumors that grow around nerves without involving the skin or other organs) everywhere in the body except on the vestibular nerve.

If your child has been diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center