Ready to have fun in the sun this summer? After breaking out the bikini and packing up the cooler, don't forget to apply the sunscreen.
More than 5 million cases of skin cancer get diagnosed annually—and according to the American Cancer Society that number is more than breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer cases combined.
Experts say it means would-be sunbathers need to be more vigilant about taking precautions.
"Unfortunately, I would call it an epidemic that we're going through right now," Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.
To ensure better skin protection, Sarnoff recommends a comprehensive program that includes a hat, sunglasses, seeking shade and avoiding peak hours in the sun.
"And the clothing that protects is key," she added. Of course, if you can't cover up, Sarnoff said sunscreen is the next best thing. Yet 53 percent of people surveyed by Consumer Reports said they rarely or never use sunscreen.
"You have to think about sunscreen the way you do brushing your teeth or any of your other grooming activities. That even goes for cloudy hazy days, and it goes for all year long," said Dr. Sarnoff.