History of the present illness

This is a 69-year-old African American female with a slowly growing lesion initially described to be “like a scar” or a “bony spicule” on the left posterior, lateral soft palate bordering on the junction of hard palate. The patient is edentulous and wears full dentures. The lesion grew continuously for two years and the dentist trimmed the maxillary denture to avoid “rubbing” against the denture. The swelling was initially pink but became red and purple and eventually ulcerated. However, it was not painful. At the patient's first presentation at the Oral Surgery clinic, the lesion measured 2.5 x 3.5 cm and was exophytic and ulcerated. It was located at the junction of hard and soft palate (Figure 1).

Figure 1 This photograph was taken at the first clinical presentation; note the swelling on the left and lateral posterior soft palate bordering at the junction of hard palate. The swelling is ulcerated and reddish in color.