Non-Cancerous Breast Conditions

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Granular cell tumors

Granular cell tumors start in primitive (early) nerve cells. They are rarely found in the breast. Most are found in the skin or the mouth, but they are uncommon even in those places. They are almost never cancer.

A granular cell tumor of the breast can most often be felt as a firm lump that you can move, but some may be attached to the skin or chest wall. They are usually about ½ to 1 inch across and most often are in the upper, inner part of the breast.


Granular cell tumors are sometimes thought to be cancer because they can form lumps that are fixed in place. They may also look like cancer on a mammogram. A biopsy (removing a sample of tissue to be looked at under the microscope) can tell them apart from cancers.


This tumor is usually cured by removing it along with a small margin (rim) of normal breast tissue around it.

How do granular cell tumors affect your risk for breast cancer?

Granular cell tumors are not linked to a higher risk of having breast cancer later in life.

Last Medical Review: 03/16/2015
Last Revised: 04/21/2016