NEW YORK (PIX11) – Jimmy Buffett sang about a sun-drenched, laid-back beach life, but it was the sun’s UV radiation that took him too soon.

Buffett’s death from Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare aggressive form of skin cancer, is raising skin cancer awareness across the world. Merkel cell carcinoma may be rare, but deadly melanoma is not. Every year it’s found in 100,000 Americans. It is also one of the most preventable of all cancers.

Being sun-safe doesn’t mean you can go to the beach or have fun. It just means doing a few simple things. The most important is to use and reapply sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Wearing protective clothing, hats and glasses is also important. Make sure to seek shade at peak hours of the afternoon when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

The other major key to preventing skin cancer is to check your skin for anything that looks unusual and follow up on it with a visit to the dermatologist.

The trend on melanoma cancer is mixed. On the one hand, cases are rising every year, but at the same time, the number of people losing their lives is decreasing. Simple precautions and early detection can absolutely save your life.