On Tuesday’s (December 13th) episode of The Checkup with Dr. David Agus, Nick Cannon elaborated on the moment he learned that his son Zen, whom he shared with Alyssa Scott, had brain cancer. Zen passed away in December 2021 when he was just five months old.

Cannon explained that they took Zen to the doctor when they noticed his breathing was “interesting,” thinking he might have asthma. “We (also) noticed his head was a little larger, (but) all my kids have big heads,” Cannon said. “I was a big headed baby.”

“And so you could imagine you think you’re taking your son in to get a checkup … I was thinking asthma, you know? And to know that he gets diagnosed with brain cancer … that was a shock,” he said.

The Wild ‘N Out star added that even with aggressive chemotherapy, the “best case scenario” for Zen was to live until 3 or 4 years old. “They start talking about chemo and I was like 'OK, if we do this, does that extend his life? Is that less suffering?' And they were like, 'Not really.' Especially where his tumor was placed. It was in the center of the brain. They couldn’t remove it. It was so deep.”

Cannon recalled his own experience with chemotherapy and said, “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.” Instead, the pair decided to “let God operate” and give him “the best existence he could possibly have,” while he was still alive.