Valerie Harper Says 'Cancer Free' Quote Was Taken Out of Context

Valerie Harper Says 'Cancer Free' Quote Was Taken Out of Context
Valerie Harper
Stephen Lovekin/WireImage

04/17/2014 AT 10:10 AM EDT

Erroneous reports this week suggesting Valerie Harper was "cancer free" can be chalked up to a misunderstanding between the actress and a reporter.

Harper, who is battling terminal brain cancer, did use the phrase "cancer free" in an interview with Closer Weekly magazine, but was referring to the rest of her body – following a scan to see if her cancer had spread.

"I had just had my yearly full-body scan to determine if this sneaky cancer had migrated to other parts of my body," the Rhoda star, 74, says in a new statement released by The Hallmark Channel.

"I told the reporter with excitement that I was cancer free, but what I meant to say was that my full body scan revealed that I was still thankfully cancer free [elsewhere]."

Indeed, there is no known cure for leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, the lung cancer that has traveled to the meninges around Harper's brain.

"While the lepto has not spread, I am still not cured," Harper says. "I am a cancer patient, and I continue to fight with the hope that a cure may be just around the corner. I am grateful to my family, friends, loved ones, and to fans that I am in their thoughts and prayers. That support gives me great hope."

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