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What are the symptoms?

People with penile cancer may experience a range of different symptoms. Having any of these symptoms does not mean a man has penile cancer but if you experience any of these symptoms you need to discuss them with your doctor.

Symptoms may include:

  • a growth or sore on the head of the penis (the glans), the foreskin or on the shaft of the penis that doesn’t heal in a couple of weeks.
  • bleeding from the penis or under the foreskin
  • a smelly discharge under the foreskin
  • a hard lump under the foreskin
  • changes in the colour of the skin on the penis or foreskin
  • thickening of the skin on the penis or foreskin that makes it difficult to pull back the foreskin
  • pain in the shaft or tip of the penis
  • swelling at the tip of the penis
  • a rash on the penis or a persistent red patch of skin that does not go away
  • lumps in the groin due to swollen lymph nodes.

Featured resources

Understanding Penile Cancer

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed February 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; Dr Mikhail Lozinskiy, Consultant Urologist, Royal Perth Hospital, WA; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Prof Manish Patel, Urological cancer surgeon, University of Sydney, Westmead and Macquarie University Hospitals, Sydney, NSW; Walter Wood, Consumer; Dr Carlo Yuen, Urologist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Conjoint Senior Lecturer UNSW.