Neurofibromatosis Treatment and Complications
Neurofibromatosis is a non cancerous tumor of the nervous cells. These tumors are mainly characterized by the presence of lesions all over the body or to specific area of the body. These lesion vary in sizes. Though this tumor is non cancerous and give mild condition, if not treated in time it might turn chronic as well.
What all is Included in Neurofibromatosis Treatment?
Monitoring of the condition is the most important aspect of the treatment which is done by team of specialized doctors. The sooner the patient comes under the medical care, better treatment and results can be expected.
Monitoring of the neurofibromatosis disorder:
In case the patient is suffering from NF1 then the doctor will prescribe a checkup which is age specific, especially in case of children. Those test are as follows:
- Assessing the skin for any new kind of neurofibromas or any changes in skin from the existing ones.
- High blood pressure checkup.
- As per the growth charts available, the growth and development of the child is checked which includes weight, height and circumference of head.
- Evaluate even a small skeletal abnormalities and changes.
- Assessing development and progress of learning in the school.
- Complete eye examination.
If you observe any changes in the symptoms and signs of your body, like that of pain in tumor and neurofibroma rapid growth , then immediately rush to your doctor to confirm the nature of the tumorous growth. This will help in the early start of the
Surgery and other Methods:
This is the best opted neurofibromatosis treatment as it gives relief from pain and symptoms.
- A Surgery is done to eliminate all the sizes of tumors that are located nearby the tissues or organs which can relieve pain and symptoms. This is done for all forms and type of neurofibromatosis. Total removal of schwannomas tumor in schwannomatosis can reduce the pain gradually. However, do not forget to discuss all the negative and positive aspect of the operation with your doctor and surgeon.
Doctors and surgeon should be well trained and experience in this type of surgery. There is extra care needed, as the surgery of schwannoma has a lot of risk which can lead to hearing loss or damaging of facial nerves.
Stereotactic Radio Surgery:
This surgery is the best opted option for the NF2 and schwannoma tumors. In this operation, doctor uses and passes the radiation precisely near to the location of the tumor and this helps in preserving the hearing ability to a certain extent. This surgery holds a risk of inducing radiation cancer, in case the radiation is repetitive and that too at an young aged patient.
Plastic surgery and Laser Therapy:
This is used for the removal of lesions on the surface of skin which even improves the appearance of the skin and the whole body.
A back brace therapy
is used to treat a condition called as scoliosis.
In case of malignant tumors or any other cancer related to NF1 are treated with usual cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy along with surgery.
Complications Related to Neurofibromatosis:
The complications of this disorder vary even if the patients belong to same family. This results from the tumorous growth which distorts the nerve tissue and sometimes presses the internal vital organs as well. Though the progress of the disease is not confirmed and vary from one patient to another patient, the symptoms and problems related to it are of mild or moderate form irrespective of the types. Following are complications as per the
Neurofibromatosis 1 or NF1:
Common complications of NF1 include:
More than 60 percent of NF1 cases suffers from learning and hearing impairment which is the most common neurological problem. Uncommon neurological problems related with NF1 include stroke, epilepsy and hydrocephalus.
Visible signs of this disorder include spots of café aulait, nerve tumors in facial area and the body as well. This gives a very serious mental and emotional distress to the patient even if the tumors are not much serious.
Some kids have abnormally framed bones, which can cause scoliosis and bowed legs. NF1 is related with decreased mineral density of bone. This condition leads to increased weakness of bones called as osteoporosis.
In rare cases, if the tumor has grown on the nerve which is starting from the eyes to the brain(optic nerves) then this causes visibility problems.
Increase in Neurofibromas:
Hormonal changes related with pregnancy or puberty may lead to an increase of neurofibromas.
Patients with NF1 have a high risk of high blood pressure and rare risk of blood vessel abnormalities.
Conversion of these NF1 lesions to the malignant form is a very rare case. Only 10 percent of the patients show the development of the cancer from these tumors. Patients suffering from NF 1 are at higher risk to form cancer like leukemia, breast cancer, brain tumor or other soft tissue cancer.
Neurofibromatosis 2 or NF2:
Increase in the spread of tumor in patients with NF2 can cause:
- Partial or total deafness
- Visual problems
- Weakness in the extremities
- Facial nerve damage
The pain caused by this tumor can be debilitating and need surgical removal along with pain specialist observations, as this causes lot of pain and trouble.
As this article has clearly enlightened that this is a genetic disorder, nothing much can be done as preventive measure. But you can try and keep yourself and the kids away from the radiations of any kind. This is also one of the minor cause leading to neurofibromatosis.