Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. had surgery Monday to treat early-stage prostate cancer, which was detected during a routine screening.
Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, the vice commandant, is temporarily leading the service while Papp recovers from the procedure, the Coast Guard announced. The surgery was performed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Papp’s prognosis for a full recovery is excellent, the Coast Guard said.
Papp, who grew up in Norwich, has served as the Coast Guard’s senior leader since 2010. He leads 42,000 active-duty service members, more than 8,000 reservists, 8,000 civilians and 31,000 volunteer auxiliarists.
“My early diagnosis is an important reminder of the importance of staying current on health screening,” Papp said in a statement. “Taking care of yourself means you’ll be there for your family and others when they need you.”
Before the surgery, Papp sent an official message to Coast Guard personnel explaining the diagnosis and urging them to get regular health screenings.