Welcome to Kanwa

Kanwa is Japanese for palliation, and carries meanings of rest and comfort.  In English, “palliative” comes from the Latin word palliare, “to cloak,” as in wrapping a blanket of comfort around someone who is suffering.  Both of these words symbolize the goals for anyone providing care or supporting someone fighting a disease or terminal illness.

This website is intended as a resource for palliative / supportive care topics, ways to manage symptoms and side effects of disease and treatment, and cancer survivorship issues.

So what exactly is Palliative Care?

The World Health Organization defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”

While curative medicine focuses on treating a disease, palliative care strives to provide “patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and to facilitate patient autonomy, access to information, and choice.” (National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care).

How to Use This Site

This site is intended as a resource for health care providers, patients, caregivers and families.  Please visit the resources page, select a topic of concern or search in the boxes on the right.