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Most cancers of the penis affect the skin covering the penis (foreskin), or the head or tip (glans) of the penis.

The most common symptoms are:

  • a growth or sore that does not heal within 4 weeks
  • a rash
  • bleeding from the penis or under the foreskin
  • a smelly discharge
  • thickening of the skin of the penis or foreskin that makes it difficult to pull back the foreskin (phimosis)
  • a change in the colour of the skin of your penis or foreskin

Other symptoms of penile cancer include:

  • a lump in the groin
  • feeling tired
  • stomach pain
  • losing weight without trying


Having these symptoms does not definitely mean you have penile cancer. But it's important to get them checked by a GP.

This is because if they're caused by cancer, finding it early can make it more treatable.

The GP may examine your penis and ask you to have a blood test.

They'll ask you:

  • what your symptoms are
  • when they started
  • if you’ve used anything to treat them, and if it’s made it better or worse

They may refer you to see a specialist in hospital for more tests.

This may be an urgent referral, usually within 2 weeks, if you have certain symptoms. This does not definitely mean you have cancer.