Relative survival is frequently used in population-based studies as a method for estimating disease-related mortality without the need for information on cause of death. We propose an extension to relative survival of a flexible parametric model proposed by Royston and Parmar for censored survival data. The model provides smooth estimates of the relative survival and excess mortality rates by using restricted cubic splines on the log cumulative excess hazard scale. The approach has several advantages over some of the more standard relative survival models, which adopt a piecewise approach, the main being the ability to model time on a continuous scale, the survival and hazard functions are obtained analytically and it does not use split-time data.
Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.