If it weren't for the women who love them, most men would not voluntarily see a doctor. Oh, it's just a little stomach ache! Why should I worry about that odd-looking freckle? Because it could be a symptom of a more serious health issue, that's why. "Three out of four people who have not seen a doctor in more than five years are men," Will Courtenay, M.D., a San Francisco-area psychotherapist and author of the book "Dying to Be Men," told "Men balk at going to the doctor because they like to see themselves as independent and self-reliant." Ignoring persistent, albeit subtle, symptoms could be fatal. So men, pay attention! Here are seven chronic symptoms should never ignore.

1. Constipation
This could be caused by a tumor in the lower bowel that is blocking fecal matter from exiting the body. If it doesn't clear up in a few days, go to the doctor. Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in men.

2. Strange-looking freckles
Remember that bad sunburn you got when you were 16? It could be coming back to haunt you. Odd-looking freckles could be skin cancer. As soon as you notice it, see a dermatologist.

3. Chronic indigestion
If last night's burrito or spaghetti dinner is making your tummy upset, you don't need to worry. But if you suffer from chronic acid reflux at least twice weekly, you may have gastro-esophageal reflux, also known as GERD, which can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and ulcers of the esophagus. In some cases, it can lead to esophageal cancer.

4. Constant thirst
If no amount of water will quench your thirst, it could be a sign of diabetes. Other symptoms include frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss or gain, nausea and blurred vision. A simple blood test is all that is needed to diagnose this disease.

5. Pain when urinating
This kind of pain may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

6. Erectile dysfunction
If you're in your 40s or 50s and you suffer from erectile dysfunction, it could be a symptom of heart problems. It's time for a thorough cardiac exam.

7. Snoring
Snoring can be more than an annoyance to your partner; it can also be a sign of sleep apnea. If you snore regularly, see a doctor.


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