Rare Benign Disorders of the Breast

Granular Cell Tumors

Granular cell tumors are rare but important because they can simulate carcinoma. Patients can present with a palpable mass with associated fixity to skin or underlying muscle.

It can be difficult on mammography to differentiate granular cell tumors from carcinoma. Diagnosis is made on histology.

Macroscopic Appearance
These tumors may be well circumscribed or appear infiltrative. They are usually creamy white in color and of a firm, sometimes gritty consistency.

Microscopic Appearance
The appearances are identical to those seen in other sites with clusters of plump cells with uniform, dark nuclei and abundant granular, pink cytoplasm. The cell clusters are set in a scanty stroma.

Wide-local excision is the treatment of choice. Granular cell tumors are invariably benign, but rare cases of malignant granular cell tumors have been reported in the literature.

A.D. Purushotham, P. Britton and L. Bobrow
A prospective study of benign breast disease and the risk of breast cancer. JAMA 2002


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