The head of the Coast Guard is undergoing surgery for prostate cancer at Walter Reed military hospital in Maryland.

Cmdr. Chris O'Neil says Adm. Bob Papp was being treated Monday for early stage prostate cancer, which was detected during a routine screening.

Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, the agency's vice commandant, is in charge of the Coast Guard while Papp recovers from surgery.

Papp became the top Coast Guard officer in May 2010. He succeeded Adm. Thad Allen, who led the U.S. response to the Gulf oil spill.