Celebrating 20 years of quality service to Whatcom County

The Bellingham Breast Center is pleased to celebrate our 20th anniversary of continuous service to Bellingham. After several years in a successful breast cancer and general surgery practice, the decision was made to move to a smaller town. In April 1994 Cary Kaufman moved to Bellingham from Los Angeles for many of the same reasons that others have moved here, lifestyle and environment to name two. Starting in general surgery which included two years as trauma director of our Level 2 trauma center in the late 90’s, we focused on our expertise in breast care and eventually limited our practice to breast disorders. In 2000 we were joined by Dr. Barbara Bachman and now successfully care for over 75% of all the breast cancer patients in this region.

We are proud of our accomplishments over the last 20 years and hope to continue to accomplish much more. Some of these efforts include:

Designated as the first accredited and first reaccredited breast center in Washington State by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, an effort of the American College of Surgeons.

We work with our local specialists to offer the full spectrum of services necessary in a breast center which include our radiologists (Women’s Diagnostic Center), pathologists (Northwest Pathology), medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, as well as nursing and physical therapy. During this time we have seen the mortality rate for Whatcom County decrease by around 20% very likely due to the team effort of all of these specialists working together.

Providing allied breast care services including genetic counseling and testing, high-risk monitoring, psychosocial support, and surveillance follow-up of breast cancer patients

In addition to the center’s accomplishments, Dr. Kaufman has had several personal accomplishments during this time:

  1. Published over 26 peer-reviewed articles listed in Pub Med, most as first author, all focused on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
  2. Achieved the academic designation of Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery from the University of Washington, one of only a handful of Associate Professors in the State outside of Seattle
  3. Member of the Society of Surgical Oncology, an academic surgical society, one of 14 in the State of Washington
  4. Certified in Breast Ultrasound by the American Society of Breast Surgeons, one of only 5 in the State and the only surgeon north of Longview
  5. Member of the National Ultrasound Faculty of the American College of Surgeons
  6. Led the effort to accredit the Bellingham Regional Breast Center, the first center to be accredited in Washington State by the NAPBC
  7. Course director of physician CME courses on breast center quality for the NAPBC and the NCBC annual meetings
  8. The only Breast Surgeon representative to the Medical Advisory Committee for Washington State Breast, Colon and Cervical Health Program
  9. Pioneered research into office cryoablation for benign and malignant breast tumors, intraoperative ultrasound, intraoperative digital specimen imaging, quality measurement of breast centers
  10. Frequent lecturer on breast care in nationally and internationally including China, India, Denmark, France, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Poland and Scotland in 2014
  11. Past President of the National Consortium of Breast Centers (
  12. Chairman of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (
  13. Contributed to the early adoption of new technologies in Bellingham including sentinel node biopsy, intraoperative ultrasound localization, use of the Oncotype Dx recurrence score, partial breast irradiation, bioimpedance pletheysmography for lymphedema
  14. Co-founder of the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC), a program of the NCBC.

Our most important wish is that during this time we have performed in a manner that has been optimal for our mutual patients and that we have provided excellent breast care for each individual. We hope to continue our efforts into the future focusing on high quality academic level breast cancer care with an empathetic and sensitive approach for all our patients. Thank you for your support of our center during this time.