Definition

Precursor lesions are defined as altered epithelium with an increased likelihood for progression to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The altered epithelium shows a variety of cytological and architectural changes that have traditionally been grouped under the term dysplasia. However, other classifications, e.g. squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (SIN) and squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL, Ljubljana classification) have also proven to be useful {222,504,846,1054, 1055,1253,1254,1711,2317}. Rarely, malignant transformation can develop even from morphologically normal epithelium. Atypia is not considered synonymous with dysplasia. Atypia has been used in the context of inflammatory and regenerative changes particularly referring to cytologic features. In this text, the term atypia refers to cytological change that may or may not be pre-malignant. Various classifications have evolved to describe the spectrum of histological changes in relation to their malignant potential {222,504,846,1054,1055,1253, 1254,1711,2317}.

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