Penile Cancer: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/1/2019

Cancer of the penis is the formation of a malignant tumor on or in the cells of the penis. The cancer mostly develops on the foreskin but can form in other areas.

Signs and symptoms of penile cancer include

  • a sore or irritation on the penis,
  • redness, and
  • a lump on the penis.

Other possible associated symptoms can include

  • a persistent foul-smelling penile discharge,
  • blood coming from the penis,
  • a change in color of the penis,
  • bluish-brown flat lesions on the penis,
  • swollen lymph nodes in groin, and
  • an irregular swelling at the tip of the penis.

Causes of penile cancer

Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is a known risk factor for the development of penile cancer, but not all HPV infections cause cancers, and most do not.

Other penile cancer symptoms and signs

  • Blood Coming From the Penis
  • Bluish-Brown Flat Lesions on the Penis
  • Change in Color of the Penis
  • Irregular Swelling at the Tip of the Penis
  • Lump on the Penis
  • Persistent Foul-Smelling Discharge From Penis
  • Redness of the Penis
  • Sore or Irritation on the Penis
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Groin


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.