Coping with test pain, discomfort, and anxiety

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Know what to expect

Your doctor may use pathology tests to help ensure accurate and timely diagnosis of conditions that could seriously affect your health. Tests also help your doctor monitor your treatment.

Sometimes, undergoing an unfamiliar pathology procedure can turn out to be a tense, upsetting, or even frightening experience. With a little preparation, however, you can help ensure that your test is as quick, painless, and accurate as possible. Emotional distress is more likely when your experience with a procedure does not match your expectations or you (or someone you know) have had a bad experience. Knowing what will happen is a good way to reduce this.

Understanding why a pathology test has been performed can improve your attitude and preparation for the test. Being well prepared also helps you feel more relaxed and in control of the situation. Ask your doctor to explain the reasons for your test and how the test will be conducted.

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