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Symptoms of penile cancer

Men and women discussing penile cancer

This page tells you about the possible symptoms of cancer of the penis. There is information on

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Symptoms of penile cancer

It is important to be aware of what is normal for you and report any changes to your doctor. 

Penile cancer symptoms may include

  • A growth or sore on the penis that doesn’t heal within 4 weeks – it can look like a wart, ulcer or blister and is not always painful
  • Bleeding from the penis or from under the foreskin
  • A foul smelling discharge
  • Difficulty in drawing back the foreskin (phimosis)
  • A rash on the penis
  • A change in the colour of the penis or foreskin

These symptoms don't always mean you have penile cancer. They might be symptoms of other medical conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases.

Symptoms of advanced penile cancer include swollen lymph nodes in the groin, tiredness, pain in the abdomen (tummy) or bones and weight loss.  These might also be symptoms of other medical conditions.

Men are often embarrassed or frightened by symptoms and may put off going to their doctor until their cancer is more advanced. It is important to report any symptoms to your doctor straight away.

 

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Symptoms of penile cancer

The symptoms of penile cancer can be seen on the skin of the penis. It is important to be aware of what is normal for you and report any changes to your doctor. 

Penile cancer symptoms may include

  • A growth or sore on the penis that doesn’t heal within 4 weeks – it can look like a wart, ulcer or blister and is not always painful
  • Bleeding from the penis or from under the foreskin
  • A foul smelling discharge
  • Difficulty in drawing back the foreskin (phimosis)
  • A rash on the penis
  • A change in the colour of the penis or foreskin

Visiting the GP

These symptoms don't always mean you have penile cancer. They may be symptoms of other medical conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases. But it is important that you see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. 

All men should examine their testicles from time to time to check for testicular cancer. This is a good time to look for any changes on and around your penis too.

 

Symptoms of advanced penile cancer

Symptoms of advanced penile cancer (stage 3 or 4) may include:

  • A lump (swollen lymph node) in the groin
  • Feeling tired
  • Abdominal (tummy) pain
  • Pain in the bones
  • Loss of weight

Men often feel embarrassed or frightened by such symptoms. They may put off going to their doctor until their cancer is more advanced. So it is important to report any symptoms to your doctor straight away. This means that if you have cancer, you can get it diagnosed and treated early.

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Updated: 1 April 2016