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Q. From the photos, kindly tell me if the fibroma on my soft palate is cancerous.

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md.
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 17, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I am a 49 year old female weighing 135 lb. I am a smoker, I have had a sore in the soft palate area from two months. Initially, my dentist gave treatment for an ulcer. But now it has recurred, and my dentist believes it to be a fibroma. I read fibromas do not usually appear on soft palate area. I have been referred to an oral surgeon for evaluation. My lesion is approximately 2 mm round and slightly raised, with minimal discomfort. I have attached a picture of my sore. Does it look like a fibroma? I am worried that it is cancer as I recently lost my husband to cancer. I am currently under tablet Crestor 10 mg twice a week, Baclofen, Propanol, and Imitrex for migraine. 

Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md.

Cardiology Critical Care Physician General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to

  • After seeing the pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity), the lesion looks like a fibroma. It is not a diagnosis neither this is the way we go clinically especially when it comes to diagnosis of suspicious growth.
  • Fibromas are very common among oral growths, they are not always cancerous. Many times they are due to trauma by teeth and dentures.
  • It is better to consult (in-person) an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to get a second opinion on this lesion. He will have the advantage of going for a biopsy to test pathologically to identify the reactive cells or cancerous ones.
  • Right now, I want to reassure you that it may or may not be a cancerous growth. It can be managed better once diagnosed properly.

For further queries consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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Hello doctor,

I know any definitive diagnosis has to be a biopsy. However, a physician should be able to determine the characteristics, look and description of the photos I have provided, but I have not gotten any clarity what so ever. I was expecting way more than the information I was provided. I would like additional information.

Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md.

Cardiology Critical Care Physician General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome back to

I appreciate your concerns and want to go into more details for your understanding so that you may make a more informed decision for the best next step.

  • Fibromas are very common oral lesions. Mostly they are formed on the cheeks (buccal mucosa) but can develop anywhere in the mouth.
  • Fibromas are not straight forward cancers to categorize. Fibroma is composed of fibrous tissues or other fully developed connective tissue. It can originate from repetitive stress due to trauma to a particular area of the oral lining (mucosa).
  • Foods hard in consistency, maligned teeth, removable dentures, braces are some examples of the causative agents. Hard fiber toothbrush can also be the cause of repetitive trauma to the oral mucosa. Some people are allergic to specific ingredients in mouthwash like Listerine; this also may cause trauma and injury to the mucosal lining. Continuous irritation and inflammation with healing after that can lead to lesions in the mouth.
  • The lesion that is seen in the above pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity) seems to be a fibroma. To simplify my previous sentences, I would say, if we have to spot diagnose this lesion (just by seeing it on the pictures or physically) this does not look cancerous.
  • But as mentioned earlier, biopsy is the best next step. It is an important milestone in decision making regarding treatment options and outcome of the lesion. What comes in biopsy results, will decide how to treat the lesion like this.
  • How is this lesion evolved in your mouth? If this is fibrous growth, it may have been due to a continued, and repetitive trauma to mucosal lining which creates an overgrowth of the local tissue. The color differs from natural surroundings. Margins of the lesion can be well demarcated in the picture, and that also gives some clues that lesion may be benign (not cancerous). The more accurate decision can be made once we go through the biopsy reports, though.
  • Lesions which are cancerous look rougher, and may also invade the surrounding tissues. There can be other associated symptoms too along with the lesion itself. There can be a real ulcer as cancers grow more vigorously.
  • In your case, fortunately, there are no such characteristics to categorize it as a cancerous growth. Other associations may be discharge, pain in the area, lymph node swelling in the drainage area, etc. So again, it does not fall in the typical cancerous category.
  • But you always need to be on the safe side and get tested for a better understanding of the disease process and to go in a more definitive way to treat the lesions. Hope it helps you to understand the lesion better. Once diagnosed it can be treated better. 

For further queries consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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