Nick Cannon's 5-Month-Old Son Zen Dies From Brain Tumor

Nick Cannon announced on Tuesday that his 5-month-old son Zen has died of a brain tumor. The actor and TV host shared Zen with model Alyssa Scott, and he said they are both in serious mourning right now. He shared his story on Tuesday on The Nick Cannon Show, then posted a video of the segment on YouTube.

"I got so much to talk about," Cannon said, looking away from the camera and scratching his face uncomfortably. "I haven't even shared this with anybody. Not even the crew. Just because there is so much going on in the world. I had a tough, very tough weekend." Cannon then showed his "pic of the day" on screen – a picture of Zen. The actor broke down in tears as he began to explain the whole saga to the audience.

Cannon explained that his son was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid in the brain, which is common among infants and people over the age of 60. According to the Mayo Clinic, the body fails to pass cerebrospinal fluid through the normal passages, which puts pressure on the brain tissue. Cannon described the process of getting the diagnosis and the whirlwind of heartbreak that followed.

"I always noticed he had a cough and so I wanted to check it out," he said. "He had this interesting breathing and by the time he was two months, I noticed he had this nice sized head too – a Cannon head. We didn't think anything of it. But I wanted to take him to the doctor for his sinus and breathing. We thought it would be routine."

That check-up led quickly to the discovery of a malignant brain tumor which required expedient surgery. Zen had a shunt implanted to drain the excess fluid, and Cannon said that he and Scott had some hope for their son until around Thanksgiving, when he took a turn for the worse.

"Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster. And so we knew that time was..." Cannon trailed off as he fought back tears, then continued: "This weekend I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with Zen. We woke up on Sunday – I got to spend the weekend with him – and I woke up on Sunday and was like, 'I feel like I want to go to the water.' We got a chance to go to the ocean."

Cannon said that he and Scott had lost Zen just this weekend, and admitted that it may not have been the best idea for him to return to work so soon. He said: "I didn't know how I was going to handle today, but I just wanted to grieve with my family," adding that this was a "special show dedicated to my beautiful son, Zen."

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Cannon will now be taking some time off from work, sources close to him told Entertainment Tonight. Other tapings and a live show have already been canceled. Fans are sending Cannon their condolences on social media.