Predictive genetic testing is used to determine if an individual has a genetic mutation that may predispose him/her to develop cancer. An accurate test will reveal a genetic mutation, but cannot guarantee that a person will develop cancer. Likewise, a genetic test that does not find a specific mutation cannot guarantee that an individual will not develop cancer. These tests only suggest that a person may or may not be at some level of increased risk.
The term screening refers to the regular use of certain examinations or tests in people who do not have any symptoms of cancer, but are at high risk for developing certain types of cancer. For many types of cancer, progress in the area of cancer screening has offered promise for earlier detection, which often results in higher cure rates.