Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp underwent surgery to treat early stage prostate cancer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Monday, after it was diagnosed in a proactive health screening.
The Coast Guard’s highest ranking officer is using the situation as a learning opportunity on preventive health for the service’s approximately 57,000 military and civilian employees, 30,000 auxiliary volunteers, their families and retirees.
“My early diagnosis is an important reminder of the importance of staying current on health screening,” said Papp. “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 stationed throughout the U.S., aboard Coast Guard cutters at sea and in foreign offices explaining the diagnosis. His message also urges members to seek regular health assessments and screens as prescribed by medical professionals.
“As Coast Guard men and women, we must care for our health so we can answer the call and protect our nation, remaining true to our motto, ‘Semper Paratus’ – Always Ready,” said Papp.
Because prostate cancer can be very slow in progressing, Papp’s prognosis is excellent for his full recovery.Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will temporarily lead the service while Papp recovers from surgery.