Common tests

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Today's technologies allow testing on an impressively wide variety of samples collected from the human body. Most often a blood sample is required. Samples of urine, saliva, sputum, faeces, semen, hair and other bodily fluids and tissues also can be tested.

Some of these samples can be obtained as the body naturally excretes them. Others are quick and easy to acquire from the body’s orifices. For some, however, anaesthesia and minor surgery give the doctor access to the required sample.


This article is part of a collection of articles offering tips for taking medical tests. For more information that may be of value, see the articles on Coping with test pain, discomfort, and anxiety, Tips on blood testing, Tips to help children through their pathology tests, and Tips to help the elderly through their pathology tests.

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