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WHO Classification of Tumours
Granular cell tumor, NOS


Granular cell tumour (GCT) is an unusual, benign or malignant neoplasm characterized by the presence of neoplastic large polygonal cells with granular, eosinophilic cytoplasm which contains abundant lysosomes. This tumour was originally thought to originate from muscle cells and was named granular cell myoblastoma. Subsequent studies have suggested a derivation from Schwann cells.
GCT can arise in any site of the body, including the posterior pituitary gland, skin, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, heart, mediastinum, and breast, and usually presents as a solitary mass. A minority of patients have multiple tumours. Women are more often affected than men

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Ordonez NG (1999)
Granular cell tumor: a review and update.
Adv Anat Pathol 6: 186-203


Mammary granular cell tumour is relatively uncommon. Patients are predominantly female and range in age from 17-75 years

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Chachlani N, Yue CT, Gerardo LT (1997)
Granular cell tumor of the breast in a male. A case report.
Acta Cytol 41: 1807-10

. The tumour usually presents as a single, firm, painless mass in the breast parenchyma measuring 2-3 cm or less. Superficial cases may cause skin retraction and nipple inversion. Deep location, on the other hand, may lead to secondary involvement of the pectoralis fascia. The clinical and radiological appearance of mammary GCT may lead to the false diagnosis of malignancy
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Damiani S, Koerner FC, Dickersin GR, Cook MG, Eusebi V (1992)
Granular cell tumour of the breast.
Virchows Arch A Pathol Anat Histopathol 420: 219-26

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Gibbons D, Leitch M, Coscia J, Lindberg G, Molberg K, Ashfaq R, Saboorian MH (2000)
Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology and Histologic Findings of Granular Cell Tumor of the Breast: Review of 19 Cases with Clinical/Radiologic Correlation.
Breast J 6: 27-30

. The clinical behaviour following complete surgical excision is benign in the majority of cases; malignant mammary GCT, associated with nuclear pleomorphism, mitoses and necrosis, is extremely rare
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Chetty R, Kalan MR (1992)
Malignant granular cell tumor of the breast.
J Surg Oncol 49: 135-7

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Tavassoli FA, Devilee P (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Breast and Female Genital Organs.
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2003