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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Dr. Kevin Conners: An Integrative Cancer Specialist Who Doesn’t Treat Cancer

At The Upper Room Wellness Center (URWC), in Vadnais Heights, a stack of brightly colored books titled Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause adorn the front desk. The author is URWC’s owner and lead clinician, Dr. Kevin Conners, D.C., who believes that “fighting” cancer is a fallacy.

“I do not treat cancer,” Conners says. Instead he believes in figuring out why cancer cells begin to develop in the first place. “Sickness, including cancer, is just a symptom, an expression of a deeper cause,” he says. Everyone has trace cancer cells present in their bodies, he explains, but what keeps cells from spreading is a healthy and effective immune system, something that has somehow become damaged or ineffective in a cancer patient.

In 1998, Conners had returned to working as a chiropractor in his hometown of Stillwater after several years on a full-time mission with his family in Mexico. Soon he saw one cancer patient after another coming to his clinic for care, which drove him into deeper study of nutrition, neurology and functional medicine. Eventually he went back to school and obtained fellowships in integrative cancer, functional medicine and health research outcomes from the National Institutes of Health. His fellowships remain foundational to URWC’s treatment programs.

Conners’ passion is contagious and his expertise in his field is gaining attention. His prospective patients, who must become members before receiving therapy, travel to URWC from across the country as well as outside the U.S. Conners is known for offering an individualized approach to integrative therapy.

Integrative cancer therapy introduces alternative treatments into the patient’s current medical regimen, alternative or traditional. “Generally, these are treatments not taught to doctors in medical schools, not advertised in medical journals and also generally not covered by health insurance policies,” he says, adding that they are documented to have a higher efficacy than conventional cancer treatments.

“Long-term track records show that cancer can be most effectively overcome by using a non-toxic approach,” says Conners. “Since alternative cancer therapies are non-toxic in nature, they can be administered continually, whereas traditional treatments have to be administered in regulated dosages.” In addition, he says alternative therapies do not present life-threatening side-effects, thus making them safe for anyone to use, while chemotherapy and radiation are known for their potentially dangerous outcomes.

Even so, Conners is not against traditional cancer treatments. “I do not believe all chemotherapy is bad,” he says. “We work alongside oncologists to give the cancer patient the greatest hope. Chemotherapy and radiation may sometimes be the best option.” Depending upon the type of cancer or how quickly it is spreading, he has sometimes encouraged patients to go back to their oncologists to discuss chemotherapy options.

While URWC’s patient success stories continue to pour in every month, the realities of current cancer statistics are sobering. “Let’s be honest; conventional medicine alone is not ‘winning the war’ on cancer,” Connors says. “In 1971, when President Richard Nixon proclaimed the official war on cancer, one out of every 21 Americans got cancer. Now we have a one out of 2.5 chance of developing cancer.” He adds that any collaboration between URWC’s integrative therapy and traditional cancer therapies will come with words of caution. 

He is encouraged by the growing interest among cancer patients in seeking alternative therapies. “For the past several decades, patients were shamed if they even thought about alternative care,” he says. “Anyone daring to attempt a natural alternative was quickly labeled a quack. But now a new movement is beginning to take hold where patients desire to take greater responsibility for their own health.”

The best way patients start taking responsibility for their health is by asking tough questions. “Smart cancer patients want to know why cancer started growing in their body,” Conners explains. “They want to know why the environment around the cancer cells allowed it to take hold. They want to know if there are underlying causes and they want to fix the underlying causes so their body can cure itself.” He believes this kind of questioning is what brings patients to URWC’s doorstep and ultimately helps them overcome their disease.

“I come from a Christian perspective in my practice and I believe our patients are in our clinic for a reason,” Connors says. “Our purpose as a clinic is to be a blessing to the people who come to us. We believe we have a responsibility to every person we accept as a patient, a responsibility to dig and figure each person out. We can figure you out.”

Upper Room Wellness Center is located at 1654 E. County Rd. E, Vadnais Heights. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 651-739-1248 or visit A free download of Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause is available on the website as well.

Michelle Hamburger is a marketing and sales representative and freelance writer for Natural Awakenings. Submit questions or comments to [email protected]

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