Benign Breast Lesions That Mimic Cancer: Determining Radiologic-Pathologic Concordance

Julia Mario, BA; Shambhavi Venkataraman, MD; Vandana Dialani, MD; Priscilla J. Slanetz MD, MPH


Appl Radiol. 2015;44(9):28-32. 

In This Article

Granular Cell Tumor

Granular cell tumor of the breast is a rare tumor that arises from Schwann cells. It may occur anywhere in the body with approximately 5–8% of cases seen in the breast.[24] Patients present with a single, unilateral, hard, painless mass mimicking cancer and may have skin retraction and nipple inversion.[25] Mammographic features range from a round, circumscribed mass to an indistinct or spiculated mass with or without calcifications (Figure 3a).[26] On ultrasound, these present as a hypoechoic poorly defined solid mass with marked posterior shadowing, though it may also present as a well-circumscribed solid mass with variable echogenicity (Figure 3b). A peripheral echogenic halo has also been described.[26] MRI appearances are non-specific and include a focal mass with variable high signal on T2-weighted sequence and homogenous or rim enhancement following contrast administration.[27] Treatment ranges from imaging follow-up to surgical wide excision.[26,27] Local recurrence can occur.

Figure 3.

Granular cell tumor. A 36-year-old woman with no personal or family history of cancer, presented for a palpable mass. (A) Mammogram showed a partially circumscribed mass underlying the BB marking the palpable area (arrow). (B) Ultrasound showed a well-circumscribed hypoechoic solid mass. An ultrasound guided core biopsy was performed with pathology confirming granular cell tumor.