Experts Issue Powerful Tanning Bed Warning

Paige Wood started going to tanning salons when she was 18 years old. Now at 27, she's fighting melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

"It's definitely been an ongoing battle for me with just remaining optimistic," Wood said.

In the journal Lancet Oncology, an international panel of cancer experts upgrade the warning on tanning beds from "probably to "definitely" able to cause cancer.

"There have been a number of studies showing an increased risk in melanoma and it has been particularly in people who start using tanning beds before the age of 35," said Dr. Jennifer Stein, a Dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center.

In those people, the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent, reports CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. Over the past three decades, tanning salons have grown in popularity, now numbering 25,000 and attracting 30 million customers in the U.S. Per capita, the top five cities are Pittsburgh, Charleston, W.V., Akron, Fargo and Scottsdale.

"UV exposure damages your skin, it puts you at risk for skin cancer, it makes you get wrinkles and brown spots," Stein said.

From 1980 to 2004, the number of melanomas in 15 to 39 year old white American women increased by 50 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The indoor tanning association told CBS News they have "always emphasized the importance of moderation" when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed.

But Paige Wood, and dermatologists, insist they are not worth the risk.