The Difference between Genetic Screening and Genetic Testing
The main similarity of genetic screening and genetic testing is that it involves the use of laboratory tests to identify the presence of specific genes that may cause genetic disorders. Both of these involve the same medical procedures, but the genetic testing has more rigid tests.
The main difference between genetic screening and genetic testing can be explained in the reason why a certain person undergoes the medical procedure. If a person wants to be tested because of the possibility of having a disease due to the occurrence of such disease within a certain age group or ethnic group, then one will be undergoing genetic screening. Meanwhile if a person suspects they have the disease gene due to family history, then this person will undergo genetic testing.
Genetic screening is referred to as population-based screening. The medical tests are employed to a large number of the population to determine the members of the population who are at high risk of having the disease gene. As an example, African Americans are known to be subject to a higher risk of having sickle cell disease due to the presence of a specific gene.
Genetic testing, on the other hand, is used to screen only an individual, not a large number of people, for the presence of the disease-causing gene. For example, a person belonging to a family with a background of cystic fibrosis can undergo genetic testing to indentify the presence of the specific gene causing cystic fibrosis. The general public expressed much interest in genetic testing, especially in the form of genetic testing kits to predict talents. However, this idea had attracted a lot of violent reactions from the medical community.