Nick Cannon explains why son Zen didn’t undergo chemo for brain cancer

Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott decided to forego chemotherapy for their late son Zen once they realized it would “suck everything out” of him.

The “Masked Singer” host reflected on their decision during Tuesday’s episode of “The Checkup with Dr. David Agus,” while speaking about Zen’s cancer diagnosis and tragic death at just 5 months old last December.

“Seeing your son hooked up to all of those machines — and he had to go for a shunt two or three times, and that was heartbreaking every time — even in that short amount of time, I couldn’t imagine him having to go through chemo,” Cannon, 42, recalled.

The “Wild ’n Out” star also shared that doctors told them the “best case scenario” with the diagnosis would be “3 or 4 years” – and that chemotherapy would “not really” extend his life.

Cannon said he wanted to prioritize Zen’s “quality of life” and give him the “best existence he could have” in the short time left.


“I wanted him to have the best existence he could have,” Cannon explained.



“I wanted him to have the best existence he could have,” Cannon explained.


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“I knew how as a full grown man, that process,” Cannon said, referring to using chemo for his lupus. “My hair was falling out. 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.”

Cannon also noted that he didn’t want his son to “live in the hospital” for his entire life, so he and Scott opted to spend Zen’s final moments together as a family.

“Luckily we did everything from the sunrise, going to the beach, the sunset, said some beautiful prayers as a family, and really came together as a family in a very beautiful way,” he recalled. “I’m grateful for that, but it was definitely tough. To see your child there, suffering at a point and watching things shut down, it was pretty intense.”

The “Drumline” star also gave a shout-out to Scott, who is currently pregnant with their second child together, his 12th.

“I definitely couldn’t have did it without her,” he raved. “The fact that she was the one, from every aspect she handled it. We had some beautiful moments. We had the opportunity, we knew the transition was coming. It happened a lot faster than we thought.”

Cannon recently paid tribute to Zen on the one-year-anniversary of his death on Dec. 5.

A screenshot of Nick Cannon's instagram caption
The “Wild ‘n Out” star wrote about how he’s still “broken” one year after Zen’s death.

“Physically I’m definitely on the mend but Mentally and Spiritually I’m broken,” he captioned a series of photos of his baby. “Such a painful anniversary. Losing a child has to be the heaviest, most dark and depressive experiences that I will never get over. A mixture of guilt, pain, and sorrow is what I suppress daily.”

Cannon also shares 5-month-old son Legendary with Bre Tiesi and daughter Onyx, 3 months, with Lanisha Cole. He and Brittany Bell co-parent sons Golden, 5, and Rise, 2 months, and daughter Powerful, 1.

Abby De La Rosa recently welcomed their 1-month-old daughter Beautiful, who joined their twins, Zion and Zillion, 1. Cannon first became a dad when he welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, now 11, in 2011 with ex-wife Mariah Carey.

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