Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Bob Papp underwent surgery to treat early stage prostate cancer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Monday, April 23, after it was diagnosed in a proactive health screening. Because prostate cancer can be very slow in progressing, says the Coast Guard, Admiral Papp’s prognosis is excellent for his full recovery.
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 Admiral Papp. “Taking care of yourself means you’ll be there for your family and others when they need you.”
Before the surgery, the Commandant 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 screenings 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 Admiral Papp.
Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will lead the service while Admiral Papp recovers from surgery.
April 23, 2012