Causes and risk factors

Pre-cancerous conditions

Having a pre-cancerous condition doesn’t mean that you have cancer, or that you will definitely develop cancer. But pre-cancerous conditions are diseases or syndromes that might develop into a cancer, so it’s important to monitor your health.

  • Breast calcifications

    Breast calcifications are usually harmless. These small deposits of calcium are most likely to be found during a mammogram.

  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

    Women with Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) should have regular breast screening. LCIS is not a cancer, but indicates a risk of cancer in later life.

  • Cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN)

    Cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) is a term used to describe changes in the surface (squamous) cells of the cervix.

  • MGUS

    MGUS (mono gammopathy of unknown significance) is a non-cancerous condition. It does not usually cause any symptoms but a small number of people are more likely to develop cancer.

  • Vaginal intra-epithelial neoplasia (VAIN)

    Vaginal intra-epithelial neoplasia, or VAIN, can affect the vagina and, in some women, may develop into cancer after many years.

  • Vulval intra-epithelial neoplasia (VIN)

    Vulval intra-epithelial neoplasia (VIN) is a skin condition affecting the vulva. It may develop into cancer after many years.

  • Vulval lichen sclerosus and lichen planus

    Vulval lichen sclerosus and lichen planus are skin conditions that commonly affect the vulva. They occasionally develop into vulval cancer.

  • Barrett's oesophagus

    Barrett's oesophagus is a condition that can sometimes develop into cancer of the lower oesophagus.