SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Skin cancer continues to be the most prevalent cancer in the United States.

The most common is basal cell carcinoma and the cancer can take a lifetime to develop.

“Due to my sun exposure as a child, eventually you are going to get something,” said Robert Kay, Agawam resident and skin cancer survivor. “That’s what my doctor said.”

Not wearing sunscreen could cause sunburns and ultimately skin cancer. You should also take a note of when UV rays are at their strongest.

“Number one, you don’t want to lay in the sun particularly between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Wearing a hat is very important, and sunscreen,” said Dr. Stanley Glazer, a physician for the New England Dermatology Center. “I prefer zinc because it stays on better.”

That’s also true if you’re going into the water. Dr. Glazer explained, you don’t need to be in the sun much time to reap its benefits.

“Its estimated that 20 minutes a week, maybe three times a week may be enough to stimulate it, so you don’t have to be in the sun all day or go to a tanning salon to get vitamin D,” said Dr. Glazer. He also said tanning salons are one of the worst offenders for causing skin cancer.

Melanoma is typically the only skin cancer that kills, but as long as its detected early, the survival rate is close to 100 percent.