A. Your veterinarian is correct. Masses in the mouth are for the most part malignant. They should be removed right away. Removal will also determine if indeed it is cancer, or a benign growth or an abscess or cyst.
A. It's impossible to know if the tumor is cancerous or not just by looking at it, I would say it's probably 50/50, but the problem is the location of the tumor - if you take the risk and decide not to remove it, there is a chance that it will not be possible to remove it later if it gets bigger and is cancerous.
If your cat is generally healthy, my advise would probably be to remove the lump regardless of what it might be.
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