Leukoplakia generally refers to a firmly attached white patch on a mucous membrane which is associated with an increased risk of cancer. The edges of the lesion are typically abrupt and the lesion changes with time. Advanced forms may develop red patches. There are generally no other symptoms. It usually occurs within the mouth, although sometimes mucosa in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, or genitals may be affected. The cause of leukoplakia is unknown. Risk factors for formation inside the mouth include smoking, chewing tobacco, excessive alcohol, and use of betel nuts. It is a precancerous lesion, a tissue alteration in which cancer is more likely to develop. The chance of cancer formation depends on the type, with between 3–15% of localized leukoplakia and 70–100% of proliferative leukoplakia developing into squamous cell carcinoma.