On May 5, 1893, just two months into his second term as president, Grover Cleveland noticed a rough spot on the roof of his mouth. It was near his molars on the left side—his “cigar chewing side.” He tried to ignore it, but by June the lesion had grown so bothersome that he asked his physician, Joseph D. Bryant, to take a look at it. Bryant determined the growth was cancerous and recommended that it be removed immediately.

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