MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Skin cancer is on the rise with more than three million new cases ever year. But a new study finds many doctors rarely talk about sun protection with their patients.

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Researchers at Wake Forest School of medicine tracked more than 18 billion patient visits for more than 20 years.

During those visits, sunscreens were recommended in fewer than one in 1,000 visits.

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The study also found that doctors usually mentioned sunscreen to older patients and recommended it least to children.

Sunburns during childhood greatly increase the risk for skin cancer.

“What we are really missing is recommending it to people who are younger to prevent skin cancers from ever forming in the first place,” said Dr. Steve Feldman, professor of dermatology.

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Researchers say sun protection is especially important for kids and teens because they spend much of their time outside.