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Valerie Harper Wanted to Share Cancer Diagnosis 'Clearly' & 'Impactfully'

03/07/2013 at 12:00 PM EST

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, Valerie Harper reveals she's been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

While faced with this "amazingly shocking diagnosis", Harper shares why she wanted to go public.

"I just wanted to share this clearly and impactfully through PEOPLE magazine because y'all read it and you know it and I know Rhoda would be reading it," she says.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda star, 73, received the news on Jan. 15 after tests found she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

Harper's doctors say she has as little as three months left to live.

For more from Valerie, including her thoughts upon receiving the crushing news, how she is spending her remaining time and her inspirational outlook, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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