External Resources

Courses with Public Material


Wooldridge: Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data (2nd Edition)
Greene: Econometric Analysis (7th Edition)

Germán Rodríguez – Stata Tutorial – Princeton
Stata Programming Essential – University of Wisconsin

Data Sources

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research – This organization has a large collection of data that have been formatted and contributed by many researchers.  There are thousands of data files accessible to researchers.  However, you must be affiliated with an organization that is a member to access the resources. – This site provides a tremendous resource (5,000,000 datasets) which organizes the data from publicly available sites.  They provide packages in R and Stata which allow you to in a single command access and download data files.

IPUMS – This organization assembles sampling of census years for the US and other countries.  It is a vital resource for many research projects.

Economic Blog Aggregator at the federal reserve is a blog aggregator that “looks through blog posts for a link to some research indexed on a RePEc service, currently EconPapers, IDEAS and NEP. IDEAS then also links back from the abstract page to the blog posts.”

Economics Papers

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 75 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics and related sciences.

Breast Cancer, what you should know about Testing and Diagnosis

Breast Cancer, what you should know about Testing and Diagnosis
The chance, that breast cancer is found early, it is more likely to be treated successfully. Checking for cancer in a person who does not have any symptoms is called screening. 

Screening-Tests for breast cancer include, among others, clinical breast exams and mammograms and there is a very important base in the health-service for women. 

The doctor or other health care professional can check the breasts and underarms for lumps, during a clinical breast exam, which could be a sign of breast cancer. 

What is the “mammogram”? 

“The mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast and that can often detect cancers that there are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel them. “ 

A lot of studies show’s that mammography screening has reduced the number of deaths from breast cancer. But also, some other studies have not shown a clear benefit from mammography. So- you can’t get a 100% results! 

But, to day there are no other ways to check out the breast cancer with a good percentage. Concerning that, the Scientists are continuing to examine the level of benefit that mammography can produce. The National Cancer Institute recommends the following: 

• you are a woman in your 40s, you should have mammography screening every one to two years. 

• you are a woman age 50 and older, you should have mammography screening every one to two years. 

• If you are a woman who is at higher than average risk for breast cancer, you should seek expert medical advice about whether to begin screening before age 40 and how often to have screening mammography. 

The results are between 5 and 10 percent of mammogram not normal and require more testing. The one good information – the most of these follow-up tests confirm that no cancer was present. 

What will be this “more testing”? The doctor will call it a “Biopsy”. The procedure which is needed is to take a small amount of fluid or tissue must remove from the breast to make a diagnosis. A doctor might perform fine needle aspiration, a needle or core Biopsy, or a surgical Biopsy. 

This tissue goes to in the lab, this tissue will be checked on the pathologist examines under the microscope and the results let him see if any of the cells are cancerous. 

In the last time, the Doctors are studying another new type of surgical biopsy that removes less breast tissue. This new type is called an image-guided needle breast biopsy, or stereotactic biopsy. 

With this new system – If approved for general use, we can await, that the result’s are much more efficient and clearly, so that the doctors would become an important surgical tool. 

Please take note, that eighty percent of U.S. women who have a surgical breast biopsy do not have cancer! 

***But take also note, that women who have breast biopsies are at HIGHER RISK of developing breast cancer than women who have never had a breast biopsy.*** 

If you know that “- you will have perhaps a second opinion of the doctor’s information’s. 

The last technical review – With the magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and ultrasound we have two other techniques which the researchers think might detect breast cancer with greater accuracy and with lower risk! 

What’s can help you? 

Other new techniques used to find cancer include a new way of reading mammograms called digital mammography. 

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and ultrasound are two other techniques which researchers think might detect breast cancer with greater accuracy. 

Breast cancer for beginners

Breast cancer for beginners
Because of the social changes, which has brought increased number of workingwoman and hence delayed childbearing, there has been a steep rise in the number of breast cancer patients in the last few decades. But as the incidence of the patients has risen so has raised the modality of treatments and the success rates. Also scientists have devised methods by which the cancer can be detected in an early stage and it has been convincingly proved that early detection and treatment bears a better prognosis than the later stage. 

There are many myths attached to breast cancer. Some think that any lump in breast is a breast cancer but to the contrary most of them are benign. Similarly it was a popular belief earlier that breast-feeding decreases one’s risk of the cancer but that has been now found to be untrue. Some say that mammography makes the breast cancer widespread but it’s not true. Similarly there are many other myths, which need to be cleared in mind of the general mass for the proper detection and management of the tumor. 

Early detection 
Breast cancer can be detected in an early stage if women are taught to self-examine their breast. In case of detection of any breast lump or of any slightest suspicion, mammography should be done to rule out any tumor. Mammography is a good tool to diagnose this type of cancer. 

The incidence of breast cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. It is said that every 2-3 minutes one American woman is diagnosed a breast cancer. 

Although the cause is not fully understood but it is hypothesized that there are various factors such as genetic and environmental. The environmental factors are increased age, obesity, smoking and having the first child at late age. 

The findings that denote a cancer are single, non-tender and firm to hard mass with ill-defined margins. This can be later confirmed by mammography and biopsy. After the cancer has been diagnosed staging is done to find out the best treatment option as well as the prognosis. 

The management of breast cancer rests basically on two things. The first is the treatment and second is the counseling. The treatment can further be divided into three: medical, radiation, and surgery. The medical treatment consists of drugs such as tamoxifen, which is an anti estrogen, aromatase inhibitors such as aminoglutethimide and monoclonal antibodies such as trastuzumab. But similar to other drugs they have their own side effects profile. The side effects associated with tamoxifen are increased vaginal bleeding, endometrial cancer and cataracts. The aromatase inhibitors have the side effects of leg cramps, jaundice and weight gain while the monoclonal antibodies may cause sterility or certain birth abnormalities. 
Generally the radiation and surgery are the modalities, which are needed for the treatment to ward off the body of the cancerous growth. 

This is one of the most important parts of the treatment both before and after the surgery. The patients are to be taught that this is only another disease, which has treatment available, and persons can lead a normal life after that. 

Latest research 
Latest research is being done on both the surgery and the medicine. For the surgery, surgeons are trying to find out the best way of surgery so that post surgery the patients have minimal disabilities. Similar medicines with lesser side effects are being researched. 


occurs when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control enabling them to invade nearby tissues or spread throughout the body. Collections of these out of control tissues are called tumors. However, not all breast tumors are considered cancerous since certain types of large cells just cannot be spread or threaten a person’s life and this kind of tumor is called benign tumor. On the other hand, the tumors that can spread all throughout the body or invade nearby tissues are considered cancerous cells and are malignant. Cancer cells usually comes from either ducts or glands in the breast that is why it may take months or even years for a tumor to be notice in the breast. Breast tumors are screened with the use of mammograms that are rather accurate in screening tumor or cancer cells. 

Women are much prone to develop breast cancer that men. Only 1% to 2% of men have been known to have cases of breast cancer. The early onset of menstruation in women at the age of 12 increases the risk for a breast cancer on the other hand an early menopausal period may reduce the risk of breast cancer. The risk for women to have breast cancer increases with age in fact a study shows that women over 50 are more likely to develop breast cancer. Nevertheless, the incidence of breast cancer among younger women is also increasing in an alarming rate that is why more women of ages 20s to 30s have subjected themselves to be diagnosed. 
Breast cancer is not only acquired but also can be inherited. For women who have genetic mutation such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 has an 80% risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have first-degree relative diagnosed to have breast cancer increase their risk of also acquiring breast cancer. Moreover, women with first-degree relative that are diagnosed to have breast cancer before menopause increase the risk for them in acquiring breast cancer. 

Some factors contribute to the occurrence of breast cancer and these are as follows: smoking, alcohol and radiation exposure. Women who are smoking will increase their chances to have breast cancer. Aside from that, high intakes of alcohol have been found to be a source of breast cancer. Radiation exposure is another factor that contributes to breast cancer. Studies have shown that women as well as children who have undergone high-dose radiation therapy have a much higher chance of having breast cancer. 

Battling cancer

Battling cancer
is a tough time in anyone’s life. Perhaps the toughest. That’s why we’ve decided to write this article on how to care for yourself during radiation for Breast Cancer. 

It very important to properly care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer. Keep in mind that after radiation you could feel fatigued for up to six weeks. Sleep as much as you like during this time – one thing you really need is your rest. 

Also, make sure after radiation that you wear a comfortable bra. Making sure your bra fits properly and doesn’t rub in any way is all part of good care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer. If a part of your bra rubs place a soft cloth between the bra and your skin. 

Weight loss can be a problem after radiation treatment. In order to properly care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer make sure you eat a balanced diet. This will help you to avoid weight loss and keep your energy levels as high as possible. 

Keep the skin fold area under your breast clean and talk to your doctor before using any powders, lotions, deodorants or perfumes. As part of your care for yourself during breast cancer radiation you need to make sure you are not using any products that might react with your skin at this time or do something to affect the radiation treatment in any way. Because of this it is best to avoid deodorants. Deodorants contain magnesium, and this can inhibit the effectiveness of the radiation treatment. To avoid reactions with the treated area, also avoid starching your clothes. 

As part of care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer bathe the treated area in lukewarm water. This is because hot and cold water can damage your skin. 

Avoid Further Mesothelioma Injury Through Prompt Treatment

Avoid Further Mesothelioma Injury Through Prompt Treatment
Mesothelioma injury can be classified into three main groups, Pleural (chest), Peritoneal (abdominal) and Pericardial (heart). All three types of Mesothelioma injury are mainly cause through exposure to an Asbestos related substance. 

Mesothelioma injury arises when the Mesothelioma cells surrounding the lungs, heart, or abdominal organs become cancerous. The Mesothelioma cells change to form nodules, which can then clump together to form a tumor, or tumors around the organ. 

In more extreme cases of Mesothelioma Cancer, the Mesothelioma tumor can break through the walls of the organs that it surrounds and cause internal damage to the organ. Also, in some cases the Cancer can travel through the blood stream and affect other organs, not directly surrounded by the original Mesothelioma Cancerous Cells. 

The origins of Mesothelioma injury begin when a person is exposed to an asbestos related substance. The person either inhales the Asbestos fibers, or the fibers enter the skin. These fibers either lodge in the lungs, or travel through the body and affect the heart, or abdominal organs. 

The bodies natural defense system will attempt to eradicate the fibers from the body, through attempts to expel the fibers. However, some fibers will become lodged in the Mesothelioma cell layers that provide a protective layer around the lungs, heart and abdominal area. 

Over time, the Mesothelioma cells surrounding the fibers, can change consistency and become cancerous. It is at this stage that the Mesothelioma injury begins to occur, as it turns into Mesothelioma. 

However, Mesothelioma injury also includes the conditional affects that occur as a result of having Mesothelioma Cancer. Some of these conditional affects include, immune deficiency, which can lead to a slow break down of the bodies defense system. 

Once the bodies defense system begins to break down the body can become subject to colds and other such illnesses. The overall affects of having Mesothelioma Cancer can lead to an array of Mesothelioma injuries and has the potential to cause major organ failure. 

In order to prevent the adverse affects of Mesothelioma injury, Mesothelioma doctors have been implementing various treatments that aim to prevent further damage. Some of these treatments include, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immune augmentative therapy. 

In regard to Mesothelioma Cancer, Surgery aims to remove the Cancerous Mesothelioma cells, while chemotherapy uses drugs to kill the Cancerous cells. Radiation therapy also aims to eliminate the Mesothelioma cells, while immune augmentative therapy aims to restore the body’s natural immune system to a level in which it can be effective in helping to fight the effects of Mesothelioma Cancer. 

All of these treatment methods are aimed at preventing further Mesothelioma injury to the patient. If you, or someone you know, have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma Cancer, ensure that you seek immediate treatment to prevent the affects of Mesothelioma Cancer and to avoid further Mesothelioma injury. 

Attack of the Cancer Fighting Tomatoes

Attack of the Cancer Fighting Tomatoes
Copyright 2005 Michael Brooks

That’s right, the colorful little fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) has been shown to pack a powerful punch against several forms of cancer. A variety of studies indicate that a diet rich in tomato based products (tomato paste, sauce, juice, soup and ketchup) can significantly reduce the risk of prostate, lung and colon cancer. Not bad for a fruit that was considered by many to be poisonous and inedible until the 19th century.

What is the Active Ingredient?

The active ingredient that makes tomatoes such a formidable opponent against cancer cells is the carotenoid called Lycopene. Lycopene is the natural red pigment found in tomatoes and tomato based products. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present.

How does Lycopene Fight Cancer?

In the body, lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, prostate gland, colon and skin. Its concentration in body tissues tends to be higher than all other carotenoids. Some organs, such as the testes and adrenal glands, store higher levels of lycopene than do other organs or tissues. Lycopene acts as a super antioxidant by picking up free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction. Their primary danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.

Is there any Research on the Cancer fighting power of Lycopene?

Although more large-scale studies are needed before any definitive conclusions can be made, current research does suggest that lycopene from various tomato products is indeed associated with the lowered risk of several types of cancers. Several published reports are listed below.

Gann et al. 1999 – Cancer Research 
The study examined initial plasma caroteniods (including lycopene) of 1872 men in 1982, and then followed them for 13 years. These men were randomly assigned to a placebo group or a group to receive beta-carotene and aspirin supplementation. Of the men studied, 578 developed prostate cancer versus 1294 control subjects. Lycopene was the only antioxidant with a significantly lower average blood level in those men with cancer as compared to those without cancer. In those men not receiving the aspirin and beta carotene, plasma lycopene levels were very strongly related to a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. This study concluded that increased consumption of tomato products and other lycopene-containing foods may reduce the onset of prostate cancer.

Giovannucci 1999 – Journal of the National Cancer Institute 
This journal is a review of research studies available regarding cancer risk (not just prostate cancer) and intake of tomato based foods as well as blood lycopene levels. After identifying 72 studies that fit these criteria, it was found that an inverse relationship between tomato intake or blood lycopene levels and cancer risk was reported in 57 of them. Of these 57, it was found that 35 of these inverse relationships were statistically significant. It was also found that cancer protection from lycopene was strongest for prostate, colon and stomach cancers, but also appeared to have some benefit in the treatment of other cancers.

Rao et al. 1999 – Nutrition and Cancer 
This study examined plasma and prostate lycopene levels in cancer patients and a control group free of cancer. Though only 12 patients were in each group, significantly lower serum and prostate lycopene levels were found in those with cancer. Levels of other carotenoid substances did not vary between the groups. 

Additional Benefits 

In addition to fighting cancer, the lycopene found in tomatoes has been associated with better mental activity in old age and a reduced risk of heart disease. A University of Maryland study found that tomatoes might protect the eyes by hampering macular degeneration, a cause of vision loss in older adults. 

How do I get Lycopene into my body?

The best source of lycopene intake is through eating tomato-based products. This is more effective than supplementation. You will get the most lycopene through concentrates and processed products such as tomato paste, sauce, soup and canned tomatoes. Heating helps to release lycopene and adding a little light olive oil will increase absorption. Start packing your diet with more tomato based recipes and begin enjoying the cancer fighting power of the mighty tomato. 

Asbestos: Cause Of Deadly Mesothelioma

Asbestos: Cause Of Deadly Mesothelioma
A View of Mesothelioma 

Asbestos is the commercial name given to certain types of fibrous materials. They are silicates of varying compositions; the silica combined with such bases as Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, sodium and Aluminum. Asbestos fibers are usually from 20 to 500  in length and 0.5 to 50 in diameter. Asbestos bodies appear as golden brown or beaded rods with a translucent center. The fibers are insoluble. The exposure of asbestos causes fibers to be inhaled and fine dust deposited in the alveoli inside the lungs consequently causing a type of cancer called Mesothelioma (a deadly tumor) involving Mesothelial tissues or usually cells of lungs or stomach and abdominal organs. 

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer of the Pleura (lung cancer) and Peritoneum (abdomen cancer). Mesothelioma has been shown to have a strong association with the crocidolite variety of asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common manifestation of asbestos exposure, is well-circumscribed plaques of dense collagen, often containing calcium. Peritoneum Mesothelioma may or may not contain asbestos bodies and rarely do they occur in persons who have no history or evidence of asbestos exposure. 

Mesothelioma not only occurs in people who are exposed the asbestos, but also to them who had been living in vicinity to asbestos manufacturing process or those staying in asbestos contaminated buildings. In Great Britain, an association was reported between Mesothelioma and people living within 1 kilometer of an asbestos factory. 

The risk of Mesothelioma is reported to be high in those cases where occupational exposure to asbestos is combined with cigarette smoking. Mesothelioma usually does not appear until after 5 to 10 years of exposure. Mesothelioma causes mechanical irritation and in the advanced cases, there may be symptoms of clubbing of fingers, and cardiac distress. The survival time of Mesothelioma patients is generally ranges from 12 months to 2 years of diagnosis and very few survive longer than 2 years. 

The following measures can be useful in preventing occurrences of Mesothelioma: 

• Use of safer types of asbestos (chrysolite and amosite) 
• Substitution of other insulators such as glass fiber, mineral wool, calcium silicate plastic foams 
• Rigorous dust control 
• Periodic examination of workers such as biological monitoring (clinical, X-ray, lung function) 

The government should take adequate steps and make appropriate legislation to stop or minimize the case of asbestos exposure Mesothelioma. If you or any one of your families or friends is suffering from Mesothelioma, you have the legal right to file lawsuits for getting compensation for the medical facilities, loss of income and pain. You can consult a qualified attorney for filing a Mesothelioma lawsuit for comensation. 

Asbestos: A Deadly Environmental & Health Hazard

Asbestos: A Deadly Environmental & Health Hazard
Asbestos is a term used for some naturally occurring minerals that form long thin fibers and fiber bundles on crystallization. Most commonly found group is the serpentine group that includes Chrysotile (white asbestos). It is also the most frequently mined form of Asbestos. Another very important asbestos group is known as the amphiboles, which includes Crocidolite (blue asbestos) and Amosite (brown asbestos). The asbestos fibers have high tensile strength, and chemical, electrical and heat resistance properties and so are extremely useful as a building/insulation material. Asbestos has been used extensively all over the world. 

Asbestos: General Information 

Although Asbestos is a hazardous material, it poses a health risk only if the Asbestos fibers become airborne and subsequently inhaled. Therefore, most Asbestos materials pose little health risk unless they are disturbed in a way that allows the fibers to be released into the atmosphere. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to serious diseases such as lung cancer, Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the lungs or lower digestive tract) and asbestosis (a chronic fibrosis of the lungs). 

Many industries used Asbestos extensively in the past, exposing their workers to this deadly materials. As a result, many new cases of Asbestos caused ailments are occurring now. However, the fact that Asbestos was also installed in many buildings means that a wider range of people still have the potential to be exposed – particularly building and maintenance workers. For this reason, the latest revision of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations introduces (from May 2004) a new responsibility on those responsible for non-domestic premises to manage the asbestos contained in them. 

Asbestos Caused Diseases 

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleural and peritoneal lining. It exclusively related to asbestos exposure. By the time it is diagnosed, it is usually fatal. Mesothelioma has a long latency period (time between exposure and onset of disease) of at least 15 years and sometimes as long as 60 years. 

Asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue. This scarring impairs the elasticity of the lung and hampers its ability to exchange gases. This leads to inadequate oxygen intake to the blood. Asbestosis restricts breathing leading to decreased lung volume and increased resistance in the airways. It is a slowly progressive disease with a latency period of 15 to 30 years. 

Lung Cancer is a malignant tumor of the bronchi covering. The tumor grows through surrounding tissue, invading and often obstructing air passages. Again, the disease has a long latency period of at least 20 years. 

The victims of all these asbestos related diseases are eligible to file lawsuits for compensation against the persons and organizations responsible for causing asbestos exposure. They can take the help of mesothelioma and asbestos attorneys to fight their compensation claims. 

Are asbestos fibers visible to the eye ?

Are asbestos fibers visible to the eye ?
If you are in the construction business or employed by an industry that uses products containing asbestos, you may wonder “Are asbestos fibers visible to the eye”? Generally asbestos fibers are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Asbestos becomes dangerous when it has broken down into small fibers and is inhaled. It is nearly impossible to detect the presence of asbestos without taking the material to a lab for testing. A lab technician will put the material under a microscope to search for asbestos fibers. Asbestos does not cause an immediate reaction. It will not cause you to cough, sneeze, or your eyes to water. You cannot see, smell, or taste asbestos. If you skin becomes contaminated with asbestos it will not burn or itch. 

Asbestos related diseases have a very long latency period. This is the time frame from when you are first exposed to asbestos until you become ill. Most persons do not become ill for at least ten years after exposure and some not until over forty years later. Asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma are all asbestos related diseases. Asbestosis occurs when asbestos fibers enter the lungs. The body will naturally produce an acid to combat the fibers. However, this acid can cause scarring in the tissue of the lungs and in advanced stages breathing becomes more difficult and painful. Asbestosis was first documented in shipyard workers. Asbestos can also cause lung cancer. If a person smokes and is exposed to asbestos, they have a much greater chance of developing lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that has only been linked to asbestos exposure. It is a cancer of the cells that line the peritoneum (area surrounding the abdominal organs) and the pleura (area outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs). 

There is a lot of debate and controversy surrounding which types of asbestos is harmful. Some types of asbestos are thought to be more dangerous than others but all types of asbestos exposure should be avoided. Actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, chrysotile (white asbestos), and tremolite are all types of asbestos. Chrysotile is the type of asbestos most commonly used in manufacturing products. 

Asbestos fibers are not visible to the eye. If you feel you may have been exposed to asbestos, the most common method for testing is a chest x-ray. The x-ray will not show the asbestos fibers but it can spot early signs of lung disease. There is no known cure for asbestos related diseases.