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Contact Amy

Campus Address: 

Room 307 WARF
610 Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726

Campus Phone Number: 
(608) 265-4175
Fax Number: 

Amy Trentham-Dietz, PhD

  • Professor of Population Health Sciences
  • Program Leader, Cancer Control Program, Carbone Cancer Center


As a cancer epidemiologist, Professor Trentham-Dietz’s research is focused on breast cancer prevention, early detection and outcomes. She employs novel and traditional epidemiologic approaches in her studies complemented by methods deriving from health services research and simulation modeling. She has made contributions to understanding the natural history of breast cancer, which helps women assess their risk; her studies also support decision-making surrounding screening and treatment consistent with optimizing both survival and quality of life. Professor Trentham-Dietz’s research has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Wisconsin Partnership Program. She has published over 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts with her collaborators and trainees. She particularly enjoys working with junior scientists and has mentored five faculty members, four postdocs, two medical students, 18 doctoral students (6 as chair), 16 masters students (seven as chair), and five undergraduates.

Professor Trentham-Dietz has approached breast cancer prevention and detection as a central theme in her research program from three directions. First, she has focused on modifiable lifestyle factors including obesity, physical activity, and environmental factors to better understand breast cancer etiology and reveal avenues for prevention. Also, recognizing that breast density—most often evaluated from mammogram images—is an important factor in the natural history of breast cancer, she has led studies of novel predictors of breast density. Second, her studies have focused on ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast which, often detected through mammography, does not necessarily portend invasive breast cancer. By examining prognostic markers of disease-free survival after DCIS, Professor Trentham-Dietz aims to help DCIS patients make decisions about treatment and lifestyle behaviors, since different treatment choices are associated with similar survival but very different impacts on quality of life. Both these research areas feed into a third focusing on simulation modeling of breast cancer to examine risk-based approaches to screening to maximize benefits of screening programs while reducing harms.

Much of Professor Trentham-Dietz’s research activities have taken place within consortium settings. Consortia include the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), the Collaborative Breast Cancer Study (CBCS), the Cancer Intervention Simulation Modeling Network (CISNET), the Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) Consortium, the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), the Oxford Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors for Breast Cancer, the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), and the Patterns of Care Study – Breast and Prostate (POC-BP). She has coordinated activities for the Collaborative Breast Cancer Study since 2001 including supporting sharing and analysis for data and biological samples (e.g., DNA). The CBCS has resulted in over 150 publications since 1992 with dozens of collaborators throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Courses Taught:
  • PHS750: Cancer Epidemiology


  • Society for Epidemiologic Research
  • American Society of Preventive Oncology

Recent Honors/Awards

  • 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO)
  • 2013 Research Committee Travel Award, Graduate School, UW-Madison
  • 2011-2015 Standing reviewer, EPIC/CASE Study Section, NIH
  • 2010 AAMC Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • 2010 Teaching Academy Summer Institute Award
  • 2010 Engage Digital Media Award, UW-Madison
  • 2009-2010 Ad hoc reviewer EPIC (Epidemiology of Cancer) Study Section, NIH

Select Publications

Sprague BL, Trentham-Dietz A, Egan LM, Titus-Ernstoff L, Hampton JM, Newcomb PA. Proportion of Postmenopausal Invasive Breast Cancer Attributable to Risk Factors Modifiable After Menopause. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 168(4): 404-11.

Gangnon RE, Sprague BL, Stout NK, Alagoz O, Weedon-Fekjær H, Holford TR, Trentham-Dietz A. The Contribution of Mammography Screening to Breast Cancer Incidence Trends in the United States: An Updated Age-Period-Cohort Model. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015; Jun; 24(6): 905-12.

Trentham-Dietz A, Sprague BL, Hampton JM, Miglioretti DL, Nelson HD, Titus LJ, Egan KM, Remington PL, Newcomb PA. Modification of Breast Cancer Risk According to Age and Menopausal Status: A Combined Analysis of Five Population-Based Case-Control Studies. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2014; May; 145(1): 165-75.

Munsell MF, Sprague BL, Berry DA, Chisholm G, Trentham-Dietz A. Body Mass Index and Breast Cancer Risk According to Postmenopausal Estrogen-Progestin Use and Hormone Receptor Status. Epidemiol Rev 2014; 36: 114-36.

Sprague BL, Trentham-Dietz A, Hedman CJ, Wang J, Hemming JD, Hampton JM, Buist DS, Aiello Bowles EJ, Sisney GS, Burnside ES. Circulating Serum Xenoestrogens and Mammographic Breast Density. Breast Cancer Res 2013; May 27; 15(3) :R45.