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Neurofibromatosis is any of a number of distinct genetic conditions that result in a high probability of tumor formation. However, all the conditions are caused by inheriting the single defective gene from a parent with the condition. However, in any given patient, the disease can be of varying severity due to the expression of other related genes. They fall into three categories:
- Type I - the tumors are generally benign, but can compress nerves and other tissues
- Type II - where the tumors form around the acoustic nerves, leading to hearing loss
- Schwannomatosis - where painful schwannomas grow around several different types of nerves