NF is a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nervous system at an uncontrollable rate. It can cause deafness, blindness, paralysis, physical deformities, learning disabilities and chronic pain... and it usually manifests itself during adolescence. Occurring in 1:3000 births (2 million worldwide), there is no cure and sadly very few treatment options.
Although NF causes tumors, it is not necessarily cancer, though in some cases the tumors do become cancerous. That said, NF research focuses on how tumors live and breathe and how to get rid of them, so NF research is applicable toward advancing the science and finding better treatments for ALL tumors.