Leukoplakia/dysplasia is a precancerous condition of the vocal cords. It is seen as white patchy areas on the vocal cord tissue. Leukoplakia can be caused by smoking and alcohol but can appear on the vocal cords of non-smokers. Leukoplakia is not painful but causes changes in the voice that may be heard as mild to severe hoarseness. People who experience voice changes for greater than two to three weeks that are not due to a cold should be seen by our physicians immediately.