HOW TO DO A ‘PECS SELF-EXAMINATION’ (PSE):

PART A – LYING DOWN OR IN THE SHOWER
Feel for any change in the tissue directly located under your nipple and then all around your chest/pec area. You’re looking for thickening, hard lumps and soreness. Anything that has not been there before.

1. Put your right hand behind your head and use the pads of the three middle fingers of your left hand to examine your right pec area (make it easy for your fingertips to slip over your skin by using soapy water if in the shower).

Click to enlarge BSE Guide

2. Press using light, medium and firm pressure in a circular motion, then follow an up and down pattern and then a wedge pattern (refer to diagrams A,B and C).
3. Feel for any changes in your pecs, above and below your collarbone and in your armpit area.
4. Repeat these steps in your left pec area.


PART B – IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR
Look for any changes in the shape, size or appearance of your pecs e.g. dimpling, rash or puckering of the skin or nipple. Note any change in your nipple discharge or any change from normal. Inspect your pecs in four ways:

1. Holding arms at sides.
2. Holding arms overhead.
3. Pressing hands on hips to tighten chest muscles.
4. Bending forward with hands on hips.