How a Shark Bite Revealed a Cancerous Tumor and Saved This Massachusetts Man’s Life

by Owen James Burke


“The shark was a real message to me,” says shark bite(?*) and cancer survivor Eugene Finney in praise of the fish that almost made a meal of him. Photo credit: Eugene Finney.

Eugene Finney of Fitchburg, Massachusetts was on vacation with his two children and girlfriend in Huntington Beach, California back in July, swimming at the beach when he felt something hit him from behind.

“It was pretty jarring,” he told CBS Boston. “It kind of gave me an instant whiplash.”

Finney wasn’t terribly sure what had happened until his daughter asked him why his back was all bloody. He had a gash down his back, but it wasn’t anything he thought required medical attention.

Later that night, Finney started feeling chest and back pains. Still, he didn’t think much of it until he was back home in Massachusetts, where he decided to pay a visit to the ER. The pain, as he might have assumed, was caused by interior bruising due to blunt force trauma, but what they told him next, however, came as an utter shock.

Finney had a walnut-sized cancerous tumor on his kidney, just beneath where the shark had stricken him. Doctors used minimally invasive robotic surgery to remove the growth, and Finney’s prognosis, as it stands, is good: he doesn’t even appear to require chemo or radiation.

Watch the video below, and read more at CBS Boston. –OJB

*It’s unclear what part of the shark met Finney’s back, perhaps it was a tooth? Either way, we’re trying to get away from using the term “shark attack.”

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