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3 Ways to Prepare for a Medical Screening Test

Medical screening tests can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Knowing which questions to ask your doctor beforehand is the best way to prepare.

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1. Understand Why Your Medical Screening Test is Necessary

Be sure that any test or medical procedure your doctor prescribes is really needed and that you understand its purpose. A screening test should help your doctor identify a treatable disease or rule out a health condition for which you may be at risk. Conscientious physicians consider three criteria before ordering a test: the value of the specific information it may give about you, the discomfort it will cause and the risks it entails. The benefits of the test should outweigh any potential harm. You can ask your doctor about these in order to be fully aware of what is going on and why.

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2. Try to Remain Calm During the Screening Test

Another way to prepare for a medical screening test is to know what to expect. Once you’ve agreed to a battery of tests, you can make the experience more pleasant and the results more useful if you are relaxed during the procedures. Blood pressure, for example, is often raised by anxiety about having it measured. If you know what to expect and how long the procedure will take beforehand, you should feel more at ease. You can get that information from your doctor.

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3. Ask about Testing Frequency

There are no hard-and-fast rules about how often screening tests should be repeated. Your doctor will make recommendations for you based on your health, your family medical history and environmental factors (such as living with a smoker or working with dangerous chemicals). You should be aware of your health conditions and discuss frequency of testing with your doctor so you are aware and in control of your health.

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