Penile Cancer Symptoms

Most changes to a man’s penis are not symptoms of penile cancer, but rather symptoms of a less serious condition, such as a sexually transmitted infection. However, it’s important for a man to report any unusual changes in the appearance or feel of his penis to a physician, who can help diagnose and treat the underlying cause.

Most penile cancers start in the skin, so the warning signs are more readily apparent than they are with other cancers. Additionally, men are already advised to perform monthly testicular self-exams, and many find it convenient to look for any changes on or around the penis at the same time. Potential penile cancer symptoms that should immediately be discussed with a physician include:

  • Lumps, rashes, crusty bumps or sores on the penis

  • Changes in the color or texture of the foreskin, head or shaft

  • Swelling and/or persistent discharge beneath the foreskin

  • Blood or other fluids being secreted from the tip of the penis

  • Unexplained pain during urination or sexual intercourse

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin

  • Fatigue, weight loss or abdominal pain (in the case of advanced, late-stage penile cancer)

In the unlikely event that these symptoms are caused by penile cancer, early diagnosis can greatly increase a man’s treatment options. Early-stage penile cancers have a favorable survival rate, but late-stage penile cancers can be more difficult to treat and may require more aggressive treatments. As a result, it’s important for a man to know what is outside the range of normal for his own body, and to not put off making an appointment with a physician if abnormal changes occur.

Men who are experiencing any of these symptoms can make an appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center, and no referrals are required to do so. Our oncologists can assess these symptoms and determine if additional testing is necessary.

If you’re experiencing penile cancer symptoms and would like to discuss them with one of our oncologists, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.


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