Valerie Harper Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer -- Other Celebrities Who Had Cancer and Beat It

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Valerie Harper Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer -- Other Celebrities Who Had Cancer and Beat It

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Valerie Harper

It is a sad day for fans of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" as it has been revealed that star Valerie Harper is battling terminal brain cancer.

The television icon - who played Moore's pal Rhoda Morgenstern on the hit '70s show - was diagnosed in January and may only have a few months left to live.

Harper is optimistic about her diagnosis, telling People magazine that she doesn't "think of dying. I think of being here now."

She also hopes to spread awareness of the rare cancer known as leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.

"I was stunned," she told the magazine of the diagnosis. "And in the next minute I thought, 'This could draw more attention to cancer research.' I think there's an opportunity to help people."

Somehow we think Harper will be one of those two percent of people who beat her type of cancer. She has plenty of inspiration, too. Quite a few celebrities have won their fight against cancer - some even multiple times.

Christina Applegate

Former "Up All Night" star Christina Applegate was at her doctor's office in 2007 for a routine mammogram when her doctor suggested an MRI.

Her fears were realized when the test came back with "some funky things" in her left breast. She underwent radiation for several months but opted for a full mastectomy when she tested positive for the "breast cancer gene" BRCA.

"That sort of changed everything for me," she told Oprah in 2008. "Radiation was something temporary, and it wasn't addressing the issue of this coming back or the chance of it coming back in my left breast. I sort of had to kind of weigh all my options at that point."

Luckily, that took care of the cancer - and now she's married with a child.

Fran Drescher

"The Nanny" star Fran Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2000 after experiencing some weird symptoms. She immediately opted for a full hysterectomy - and the surgery took all of the cancer cells.

The actress credits early detection with saving her life.

"Now I'm scheduling appointments to do a CAT scan, a mammogram and a bone density scan. I'd rather be efficient and make sure we're all on top of everything," she told Coping magazine.

Drescher also created the Cancer Schmancer Movement to help educate people on the hidden toxins in food, cosmetics and cleaning products.

"The best cure for cancer is to not get it in the first place. We want to prevent cancer by eliminating the causes," she told the New York Daily News.

Diem Brown

MTV reality star Diem Brown was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002. She managed to beat it that time, but it came back in June 2012.

And, naturally, she beat it again.

"I can't stop smiling from ear to ear, Brown told US Weekly of getting the news that she's in remission. "I feel so free, like I have my life as my own again."

More from this contributor:

Ian McKellen Doesn't Have Cancer After All, but These Stars Are Fighting the Disease

Charlie Sheen's Big Check for Cancer Victim - Other Giving Stars This Season

'Paranormal State's' Ryan Buell Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer: Other Celebs with the Illness

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