"In response to a recent erroneous quote concerning my health, I am not 'absolutely cancer-free.' I wish I were," Harper said in a statement that countered an initial story by Closer magazine, which Playbill.com reported, that quoted the 74-year-old actress as revealing, "I'm absolutely cancer-free!"
Her statement continued, "Right now what I am is cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future."
In the exclusive interview with Closer magazine, Harper said, "My last scans have been positive, and my doctors are very happy… [The oncologist] looked at the scans and said, 'Oh my God, Valerie, this is very encouraging!'"
Harper, a lung cancer survivor, announced March 6, 2013, that she had been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare, terminal cancer. Given only three-to-six months to live, her diagnosis turned a corner, and neuro-oncologist Dr. Jeremy Rudnick said in September 2013 that the " Mary Tyler Moore" and "Rhoda" star "was pretty close to remission."
Harper also explained to Closer that her doctor "doesn't use that term, ['remission']. He likes to say, 'I give you a treatment, and it's either responsive or nonresponsive — and you are having a phenomenal response.'" Additionally, Harper, a Tony nominee for Looped, recently visited NBC's "Today" and said, "I was supposed to be gone before last Easter… What I have is incurable and terminal, but guess what? Not today."
She added that her treatment, given by doctors at Cedars-Sinai, is working, and she is doing acupuncture and drinking herbal tea.
Watch Harper's appearance on "Today":