Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that can trigger a wide variety of symptoms that require different treatment approaches. Because of this, each patient’s ideal course of preparation may vary. This condition can affect various parts of the nervous system, including the brain, nerve cells and spinal cord, prompting symptoms that can range from speech delays and learning disabilities to brain tumors and bone malformations.
Getting ready for neurofibromatosis treatment and potential side effects
First and foremost, you should rely heavily on your treatment team. Because there is no single approach to neurofibromatosis treatment, your physician will likely have specific guidance for you to follow. In general, though, many cancer patients find it helpful to practice the following habits prior to and during their treatment:
- Combat anxiety with knowledge. If you are unsure about any aspect of your treatment, don’t keep your questions to yourself. Be sure to ask your physician and find the answers you need.
- Arrange for help. Some types of neurofibromatosis treatment may involve periods of downtime or unpleasant side effects that can make it difficult to perform everyday activities. Enlist the help of family and friends before your treatment begins, and make sure your employer is fully aware of your situation.
- Prepare a comfortable recovery area in your home where you can rest and easily access water, medications, chargers for electronics and other essentials.
- Consider finding a therapist to help you through your treatment journey. Living with cancer can be an emotional experience, and sometimes the associated emotions can be difficult to handle. Speaking with a mental health professional is a great way to manage any emotional side effects of your treatment and maintain a positive outlook.
Moffitt Cancer Center is among a select few cancer centers that have the physicians, supportive care specialists and technologies necessary to effectively treat neurofibromatosis and manage any related neurological symptoms. If you have neurofibromatosis and would like to speak with a Moffitt physician about your options, we encourage you to complete a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488. A referral is not necessary to visit Moffitt.