GentleCure Blog

What is Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Dermatologist inspecting a mole

Invasive squamous cell carcinoma occurs when this form of skin cancer is left untreated, allowing it to develop deeper into the body and surrounding tissues. How serious is invasive squamous cell carcinoma? Any cancer that progresses to its later stages will be more difficult to beat, especially if it has spread. 

What Does Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma Mean? 

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, with an estimated 1.8 million cases diagnosed each year. What makes this non-melanoma skin cancer unique is that in addition to appearing on the skin’s surface, it can also develop internally as well, in places like the mouth, throat, and lungs. What does invasive squamous cell carcinoma mean? Squamous cell carcinoma can become invasive by growing deeper than its originating area, penetrating additional layers of the skin and potentially spreading to other parts of the body. 

How Serious is Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Skin cancer in general is a slow-developing disease, often taking years to develop, but that does not mean treatment should be delayed. The longer squamous cell carcinoma is ignored, the more time it has to become invasive, potentially burrowing deeper into nearby organs, lymph nodes, and even bones. 

Non-melanoma skin cancer is highly treatable when caught early, but the survival rate drops the further the cancer progresses. There are five stages of skin cancer

  • Stage 0: known as “carcinoma in situ,” this stage means the cancer cells are localized in the topmost layer of the skin
  • Stage I: the cancerous area is under 2cm and has not spread 
  • Stage II: the cancerous area is over 2cm and may have spread to nearby tissue but not lymph nodes 
  • Stage III: the cancerous area can be any size and has started to spread to lymph nodes
  • Stage IV: the cancerous area has become invasive, spreading to other major parts of the body 

Delaying squamous cell carcinoma treatment increases risk significantly, so it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice symptoms. 

How is Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treated?

An exact diagnosis will dictate what method of invasive squamous cell carcinoma treatment will be most effective. Options include: 

  • Mohs surgery: using a scalpel, this procedure surgically removes cancerous cells while leaving behind unaffected areas. 
  • Chemotherapy: using intravenous drugs, this treatment floods the body with medicine designed to break down and destroy infected cells. 
  • IG-SRT: using radiotherapy technology, this method uses low-level doses of radiation to target cancer from the surface down, achieving results without cutting or drugs. 

Talk with your dermatologist to determine what’s best for you. 

IG-SRT is the Surgery-Free Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment 

Invasive squamous cell carcinoma can be serious, so swift action is key. IG-SRT is just as effective as Mohs surgery, yet eliminates the need for surgery. Learn more about how IG-SRT works, and connect with our Skin Cancer Information Specialist team at 855-936-4411 to find a provider near you.