Is granular cell tumor cancer?

Granular Cell Tumors are rare with only about 200 cases reported, some half of them in the mouth and neck area. Whether it is cancer or not has been controversial but it has recently been shown to be of early neural tissue origin(Rejas et al). However, some granular tumors behave benignly, meaning that they don’t invade and spread, and others can be very aggressive and the older literature contains many reports contrasting “malignant” and “benign” granulosa cell tumors. Only 2% of granular cell tumors behave like cancers, but the fact that some do confuses this issue. NCI defines “cancer” as a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems, what si called metastasizing. Great majority of granular cell tumors do not have these characteristics, and they should not be considered to be cancer.

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