Valerie Harper Not 'Absolutely Cancer-Free' But Has Hope for Future

Image: Valerie Harper Not 'Absolutely Cancer-Free' But Has Hope for Future

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 07:40 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Valerie Harper is not "absolutely cancer-free" as was reported earlier this week.

The 74-year-old Emmy Award-winning actress, best known for her roles in the 1970s sitcoms "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda," clarified statements she made in an exclusive interview to Closer Weekly magazine regarding her January 2013 brain cancer diagnosis.

"In response to a recent erroneous quote concerning my health, I am not 'absolutely cancer-free,'" Harper said in a statement Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News. "I wish I were. Right now what I am is cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future."

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In the recently published article, Harper told the magazine that her "last scans have been positive, and my doctors are very happy," adding, "[The oncologist] looked at the scans and said, 'Oh my God, Valerie, this is very encouraging!'"

The magazine also quoted the veteran actress as having said, "I’m absolutely cancer-free!" in the exclusive interview, a remark Harper now reportedly claims she never made.

Despite the apparent mix-up regarding her prognosis, Harper's cancer treatment is going well.

In her Closer Weekly interview, Harper added that her oncologist told her that she is having a "phenomenal response" to the treatment thus far.

Last August, Harper told NBC "Today" show's Meredith Vieira that doctors said her terminal brain cancer appears to be "close to remission."

Physicians initially gave Harper three to six months to live last year when she was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which is caused by cancerous cells spreading into the membrane that surrounds the brain.

Despite the grim prognosis, Harper remained positive.

After revealing her illness in March 2013 in People magazine, Harper told NBC's Savannah Guthrie, "I'm not dying until I do. I have an intention to live each moment fully."

Since her diagnosis, Harper has been undergoing chemotherapy as well as several homeopathic remedies including acupuncture and Chinese tea, US Magazine reported.

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She has also remained busy in her career, which included a part in the movie "The Town That Came A-Courtin'" and a stint on "Dancing With the Stars" last year. Despite her effort, Harper was eventually voted off the dance competition in October.

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