Nick Cannon’s Newborn Son Dies From Brain Cancer. What Is Hydrocephalus?

Nick Cannon is mourning an unimaginable loss. The rapper/radio & television personality announced on The Nick Cannon Show that his youngest son Zen has died of brain cancer.

Nick Cannon


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Nick Cannon and the mother of their child Alyssa Scott welcomed Zen back in June, making him Cannon’s seventh child. On his own show, Cannon shared how he and his family discovered Zen was battling a brain cancer called “hydrocephalus.”

“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.”

The family discovered that Zen had fluid building in his head and it was a malignant tumor. The baby had brain surgery and a shunt to drain the fluid.

“Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster. And so we knew that time was…,” he began before getting choked up. “This weekend I made a valiant 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 sadly shared that he held his son for the last time this weekend.

“I didn’t know how I was going to handle today, but I just wanted to grieve with my family,” he told viewers, adding that he’s at work so soon after because this is all he knows, calling the episode a “special show dedicated to my beautiful son, Zen.”

Nick Cannon shared with his fans on his show his son’s symptoms, but many people have never heard of Hydrocephalus.

Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain.

Hydrocephalus is characterized by head enlargement in infants. Adults and older children experience headaches, impaired vision, cognitive difficulties, loss of coordination, and incontinence.

Treatment is often a tube (shunt) inserted surgically into a ventricle to drain excess fluid.

Earlier this summer, Nick gave back to HBCUs in a major way.

Nick Cannon, who is an alumnus of Howard University, was one of several celebrities to donate to the famed HBCU.  Nick partnered with The United Negro College Fund and Thurgood Marshall College to pay for seven HBCU students tuition in full.

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