Nick Cannon's 5-month-old son, Zen, has died from brain cancer and a subsequent tumor.
The TV personality, who has six other children, revealed the news Tuesday on "The Nick Cannon Show," explaining that he lost his youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus, which is "pretty much a malignant, midline brain tumor — brain cancer," according to Entertainment Tonight.
"Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster," Cannon said, adding that they knew time was limited. "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 then explained that he held his son for the last time this weekend and admitted he did not know how he would handle appearing in front of a live audience on Tuesday but work was all he knew. He dedicated the episode to his "beautiful son, Zen."
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines hydrocephalus as "an abnormal buildup of fluid in the ventricles (cavities) deep within the brain" which "causes the ventricles to widen, putting pressure on the brain’s tissues."
Speaking about his son, Cannon said he noticed he had a cough and wanted to have it checked out.
"He had this interesting breathing, and by the time he was 2 months I noticed he had this nice sized head too — a Cannon head," he said. "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."
However, what was meant to be a routine visit turned into much more when the build-up of fluid was discovered in Zen's head, which was a malignant tumor. He underwent brain surgery and the fluid was drained with a shunt, but things took a turn for the worse over Thanksgiving.
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