Granular Cell Tumors of the Breast

Granular cell tumors are thought to start in early forms of nerve cells. They are very rarely found in the breast. Most granular cell tumors 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 most often in the upper, inner part of the breast.


A mammogram and/or breast ultrasound may be done to learn more about the shape, size, and location of the tumor. Granular cell tumors are sometimes thought to be cancer because they can form lumps that are fixed in place, and they can also sometimes look like cancer on a mammogram. A biopsy (removal of small pieces of breast tissue to be looked at under the microscope) is usually needed to be sure this breast change is not cancer.


Granular cell tumors are usually removed along with a small margin (rim) of normal breast tissue around them.

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

Granular cell tumors of the breast are not linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

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Hammas N, El Fatemi H, Jayi S, et al. Granular cell tumor of the breast: A case report. J Med Case Rep. 2014;8:465.

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Last Medical Review: September 10, 2019 Last Revised: September 10, 2019

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