Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition that causes non-cancerous tumours to grow on nerves and produces abnormalities in the bones and skin. Most cases of neurofibromatosis are mild and do not require treatment.
The most common form of neurofibromatosis causes non-cancerous tumours (neurofibromas) on or under the skin. Occasionally, non-cancerous tumours may develop in the eyes and nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Neurofibromatosis also may cause dark spots to form on the skin that are similar to birthmarks (called café-au-lait spots). These may vary in size and colour and may be found anywhere on the body.
There is no cure for neurofibromatosis, but treatment may relieve symptoms. Some people choose to have large or highly visible tumours removed by surgery. Surgery to remove tumours of the spinal cord, brain, or other nerves under the skin may be needed if the tumours are causing pain or disfigurement.
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics