All posts by O2 Creative

Could you use a little extra motivation to quit smoking?

Giving up tobacco is no easy thing.  By many measures, nicotine is the most addictive substance people use.  Most people who try to quit make several earnest attempts before they are successful, so don’t give up.

As a physician, I am always on the lookout for tools that help my patients to quit, and so I wanted to share these 2 free smart phone apps I came across:

Smokerstop App

Smokerstop app

Smokerface App

Smokerface App

The first is called Smokerstop and has lots of great features, but my favorite part is how it plays on our pocket book by keeping an up to the second tally of money saved by not smoking as you work toward incremental financial goals like saving for a dinner out (or a new mountain bike ☺).

The second is called Smokerface and it taps into our vanity by photo-aging a selfie to show how we might look after years of smoking.  Check out my Smokerface results.  Ughhhhhhh.

There are more links related to other strategies and medication for quitting on our patient resources page.   If you are motivated to quit smoking and need help let us know.  

You can do it!   We can help!

Baby Photo Screening

Did you ever wonder what babies can see?
Newborns are able to recognize faces, large shapes and bright colors. By 4 months of age infants can focus on smaller objects and distinguish colors. In the first 6 months an infant’s eyes begin to work together to perceive 3 dimensional space. By age 1 an infant’s vision is very much like that of an adult.

When is an infant’s eye color established?
The color of a baby’s eyes and change in the first year of life – most rapidly in the first 6 months. By age 1 year eye color is generally well established.

How do I know if my baby is having trouble with their vision?
By 4 months of age infants should be able to follow objects as they move across their field of view and make steady eye contact. Infants less than 4-6 months will occasionally appear to have a lazy eye or look cross-eyed. This should not occur after this age.

If everything looks normal could there still be a problem?
Sometimes infants and toddlers have unequal vision with a strong eye and a weaker eye. If the difference is big enough the brain never develops the processing ability for the weaker eye. This is called amblyopia and is the most common cause of pediatric vision loss.

Can this be identified and treated?
Yes! If caught early in life (before age 5 and the earlier the better) corrective lenses will allow normal brain development. At the Fraser Medical Clinic, we recognize the importance of vision in pediatric care and have invested in Visual Photo-Screening to help us identify common eye problems in problems in infants and toddlers. Screening is as simple and painless as taking a picture.

For the right child, early recognition can be vision saving!

Lightning Safety

On average Colorado gets over 500,000 cloud to ground lightning strikes every year and about 10 people die from lightning strikes in Colorado every year. At least half of fatal strikes occur in predictably hazardous settings such as on mountaintops, on large bodies of open water or while standing under a lone tree.

As so many of us here are outdoor enthusiasts who recreate and work in potentially hazardous areas I think it is worthwhile to review a few aspects of lightning safety. Prevention is best: Check the weather and don’t be unwilling to call off a planned activity.

If you hear thunder you could be struck. If you are above tree line find the lowest point of an open area and move there quickly. Move away from any fencing or power lines. Spread out from anyone in your group by 50 feet or more and assume the “lightening position” crouched down on the balls of your feet making as little contact with the ground as possible. Avoid buildings and caves with exposed openings, and avoid water – even puddles and rain run-off. If you are below tree line and can shelter in a cluster of smaller trees this is safer than sheltering under a large lone tree or the taller trees.

NOLS has a great Myth Busting video on lightning safety in the backcountry:

The National Weather Service has some great information too. Test your lightening IQ against the Myths and Facts Page or learn more Lightning Science at
http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/safety.shtml.

Should You Get Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer?

The Fraser Medical Clinic is committed to providing the best possible preventative care for our patients.  This requires careful attention to evolving guidelines regarding best practices.

I would like to take a moment to explore the recently published United States Preventative Services Task Force or USPSTF recommendations regarding genetic testing for breast cancer risk.

Medical testing is now available for the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 genes.  If one or both of these genes is defective a woman’s estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer increases from an average of 12.5% in the unaffected population to a range of 45-65%.  With defective BRCA genetics ovarian cancer risk increases from a lifetime average of 1.4% to 10-35%.  Women who are identified as high risk can benefit from options such as more frequent or technologically advanced cancer screening, risk reducing medications, and risk reducing surgery.

The newly published guidelines states that women who have family members with cancer of the breast, ovaries, fallopian tubes, lining of the pelvis or abdomen, or any BRCA-genetic related cancer should use a risk assessment questionnaire, and women with positive screening risk questionnaires should be offered genetic counseling. The USPSTF does not recommend genetic testing for women with average breast cancer risk.

There are 5 acceptable versions of a risk assessment interview. These are the Ontario Family History Assessment Tool, the Manchester Scoring System, the Referral Screening Tool, the Pedigree Assessment Tool (PAT) and the FHS-7 Tool. Of these, the FHS-7 is the easiest to use, as a single yes answer to any of these questions is an indication for genetic testing.

The FHS-7 Breast Cancer Screening Tool

Did any of your first-degree relatives have breast or ovarian cancer?

Did any of your relatives have bilateral breast cancer?

Did any man in your family have breast cancer?

Did any woman in your family have breast and ovarian cancer?

Did any woman in your family have breast cancer before age 50 y?

Do you have 2 or more relatives with breast and/orovarian cancer?

Do you have 2 or more relatives with breast and/or bowel cancer?

You can review all of the tools mentioned above on the USPSTF website here: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/brcatest/brcatestfinalrstab.htm#tab5

Testing for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 is approximately $3500 and is only sometimes covered by medical insurance.

We would be happy to review this with you at an appointment, and can coordinate genetic testing and genetic counseling for you.