Penile Cancer: Symptoms and Signs

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Men with penile cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, men with penile cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer.

  • A growth or sore on the penis, especially on the glans or foreskin, although cancer also occurs on the shaft
  • Changes in the color of the penis
  • Skin thickening on the penis
  • Persistent discharge with a foul odor beneath the foreskin
  • Blood coming from the tip of the penis or from under the foreskin
  • Unexplained pain in the shaft or tip of the penis
  • Irregular or growing bluish-brown flat lesions or marks beneath the foreskin or on the penis
  • Reddish, velvety rash beneath the foreskin
  • Small, crusty bumps beneath the foreskin
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Irregular swelling at the end of the penis

If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.