Granular Cell Tumors of the Breast
Granular cell tumors start in primitive (early) 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 usually about ½ to 1 inch across and most often are in the upper, inner part of the breast.1
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. They may also look like cancer on a mammogram. A biopsy (removing a sample of 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 having breast cancer later.
1 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.
Santen RJ, Mansel R. Benign breast disorders. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:275-285.
Schnitt SJ, Collins LC. Pathology of benign breast disorders. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, eds. Diseases of the Breast. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010:69-85.
Last Medical Review: March 16, 2015 Last Revised: April 21, 2016
- Fibrosis and Simple Cysts in the Breast
- Hyperplasia of the Breast (Ductal or Lobular)
- Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)
- Adenosis of the Breast
- Fibroadenomas of the Breast
- Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast
- Intraductal Papillomas
- Granular Cell Tumors of the Breast
- Fat Necrosis and Oil Cysts in the Breast
- Duct Ectasia
- Other Non-cancerous Breast Conditions