Thanks in part to new pharmaceuticals, average life expectancy in Germany increased by four years for women and five years for men over the past 20 years. For example, several drugs specifically targeting tumors have helped to make the average lifespan much longer for many patients diagnosed with cancer and to prevent a relapse in many cases, particularly in cases of breast, colon and renal cancer and some types of leukemia and lymphoma. Disease prevention has also improved, due to new vaccines against rotaviruses, pneumococci and meningococci. Doctors can now better protect patients with diabetes or highblood pressure from life-threatening secondary diseases. It is also thanks to such medications that increasing numbers of rare diseases can be better treated or treated at all.