Nick Cannon Opens Up About Son Zen’s Brain Cancer Diagnosis

Jill O'Rourke
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Nick Cannon cries on 'The Nick Cannon Show''The Nick Cannon Show'

The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon recently opened up about the death of his 5-month-old son Zen last year from brain cancer, and why he and Alyssa Scott opted against chemotherapy. Cannon appears in a new episode of the Paramount+ series The Checkup with Dr. David Agus.


Nick Cannon Opens Up About Son Zen’s Death

According to People, Cannon shared that Zen was “happy, healthy, always smiling,” until he was around two months old. It was then Cannon noticed that Zen had “interesting” breathing patterns, and “his head was a little larger.”

Cannon didn’t think much of Zen’s larger head, explaining that “all my kids have big heads. I was a big-headed baby.” However, he and Zen’s mother Alyssa Scott took him to the doctor to find out if he had asthma. The size of his head was apparently the “first sign something was occurring.”

After “a lot of tests,” Zen was diagnosed with high-grade glioma, a rare form of brain cancer. A shunt was used to drain fluid from Zen’s brain. Cannon said he was told that “your son could live to 3 or 4 years old.” The star added that he “wanted him to have the best existence he could have.”


Because of the position of Zen’s tumor, Cannon was told that chemotherapy would “not really” ease his suffering or extend his life. Cannon said he “couldn’t imagine him having to go through chemo.” The actor went through a form of chemotherapy himself to treat his lupus.

“I knew how as a full grown man, that process … My hair was falling out,” Cannon recalled. “I wouldn’t even call it pain; it just sucked everything out of you. I couldn’t imagine that on a newborn and what that would do.”

SEE ALSO: NICK CANNON UPDATES FANS ABOUT HIS HEALTH AFTER HOSPITALIZATION


Cannon Marks One-Year Anniversary of Zen’s Death

Cannon explained that Zen would have had to “live in the hospital” to receive treatment. He and Scott ultimately decided that “we want to enjoy him and we want him to enjoy [us].” Before Zen’s death, they “really came together as a family in a very beautiful way.”

The star said of Zen’s final days, “It happened a lot faster than we thought, but even that last weekend I knew, ‘this is probably going to be the last weekend.'”

Zen passed away on December 5, 2021. Cannon marked the one-year anniversary earlier this month with a post on Instagram in which he said he couldn’t sleep. He wrote, “I can’t believe it’s been a year already since the toughest day of my life occurred.”

Cannon and Scott are currently expecting a second child together, due this month. This will be Cannon’s 12th child.

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