Introduction: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), a devastating complication of which intestinal dysplasia is the precursor. Considerable progress has been made to determine CRC risk in IBD, identification & management of dysplasia and preventative methods. Traditionally, surveillance colonoscopies with random colonic biopsies was used. However recent data suggests that chromoendoscopy is a better method of surveillance. Using 5-aminosalicylic acid agents primarily for chemoprevention is an ongoing debate however, when prescribed along with other strategies to control inflammation, their use is considered of benefit. This review presents current understanding of risk factors of neoplasia focusing on dysplasia and preventive strategies. Areas covered: PubMed search was done using key words to assess current evidence. Along with genetics, risk factors, strategies that modify the risk of dysplasia, and CRC in IBD are discussed in detail. Expert commentary: The role of our strategies in modifying CRC risk needs further assessment. Future research should aim to fill knowledge gaps such as high quality evidence for Chromoendoscopy and development of molecular markers for dysplasia detection. Our ultimate goal would be to eliminate CRC and is possible by better understanding of key pathogenic mechanisms in IBD.