A celebrity publication has overstated actress Valerie Harper’s response to cancer treatment, said the actress and her husband Wednesday.
“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 issued via the Hallmark Channel, which is promoting her two-episode story arc on its series, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
“Right now I am cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future,” Harper, 74, continued.
The Internet lit up Wednesday with the news that Harper, 74, told the publication Closer Weekly “I’m absolutely cancer-free!” and “I’m now the poster child for not believing everything I’m told.”
Harper, “is terminal and (doctors) haven’t found a way to make it non-terminal,” her husband, Tony Cacciotti, told amNewYork.
Harper reportedly told the magazine physicians were “very happy” over her last scans. But the magazine acknowledged that when asked during the interview if she was in remission, Harper said, “My doctor doesn’t use that term. He likes to say, ‘I give you treatment, and it’s either responsive or nonresponsive — and you are having a phenomenal response.’”
Harper, who starred in “Rhoda,” and has crusaded tirelessly for equal rights, responded so well to her “pulse dose” regimen of chemotherapy that her physicians at Cedars Sinai Medical Center are designing a trial for other patients based on her treatment, Cacciotti explained, but by no means is she cured.
And her cancer, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, is not brain cancer, but a result of lung cancer that spread to the meninges of her brain, he noted. Cacciotti registered disbelief that his wife would have described herself as cancer free in what he said was a telephone interview with the magazine.
“I wish she were,” he said.