• Rochester, NY
  • (585) 922-5840

Granular Cell Tumors

Granular cell tumors are slow-growing skin tumors that originate in Schwann cells, which are a variety of the glial cells that keep peripheral nerve fibers alive. Rare and almost always benign, they consist of small, usually painless, nodules. They often occur in the tongue but can be found almost anywhere in the body. Exactly what causes them is unknown.

Granular cell tumors affect those with an average age of 50, and occur most frequently in women and African Americans. In approximately 45 percent to 65 percent of cases, granular cell tumors are located in the head and neck areas and, of those, seventy percent are found in the tongue, oral mucosa and hard palate.

Appearance Of Granular Cell Tumors

Usually slow-growing, granular cell tumors are rarely bigger than three centimeters in diameter and are generally asymptomatic. They often appear as firm, pale-white or pale-yellow, non-encapsulated, poorly to well-defined nodules that have a thickened overlying skin or mucosa. Distinguishing between benign and malignant granular cell tumors is often difficult because they have a similar tissue structure.

Treatment Of Granular Cell Tumors

Surgery is usually used to treat granular cell tumors and, in the case of benign tumors, recurrence is extremely rare. Malignant granular cell tumors are usually larger than benign ones, and may be life-threatening, making early intervention essential. Only 2 percent of granular cell tumors are diagnosed as malignant.

Additional Resources

See what we can
Do for You

  • If you have an urgent question or are experiencing an emergency, please do not use this contact form. Call our office please directly at (585) 922-5840. If this is a true medical emergency, please call 911.

Come visit us
In Rochester

Happy New Year from The Plastic Surgery Group of Rochester

Finishing Touch is now under the new name, PSGR Cosmetic Center.

Cosmetic services that are surgical and non-surgical are expanding to include exciting new offerings for a refreshed face and a shapely body.

You may call for a consult at 585-922-4722.

Consultations are required.  Please arrive to your scheduled appointment with a face covering as we continue to follow local and state safety mandates.  Please arrive without additional persons.  Thank you.

Scroll to Top