Hand-held based optical imaging systems are a recent development towards diagnostic imaging of breast cancer. To date, all the hand-held based optical imagers are used to perform only surface mapping and target localization, but are not capable of demonstrating tomographic imaging. Herein, a novel hand-held probe based optical imager is developed towards three-dimensional (3-D) optical tomography studies. The unique features of this optical imager, which primarily consists of a hand-held probe and an intensified charge coupled device detector, are its ability to; (i) image large tissue areas (5 x 10 sq. cm) in a single scan, (ii) perform simultaneous multiple point illumination and collection, thus reducing the overall imaging time; and (iii) adapt to varying tissue curvatures, from a flexible probe head design. Experimental studies are performed in the frequency domain on large slab phantoms (approximately 650 ml) using fluorescence target(s) under perfect uptake (1:0) contrast ratios, and varying target depths (1-2 cm) and X-Y locations. The effect of implementing simultaneous over sequential multiple point illumination towards 3-D tomography is experimentally demonstrated. The feasibility of 3-D optical tomography studies has been demonstrated for the first time using a hand-held based optical imager. Preliminary fluorescence-enhanced optical tomography studies are able to reconstruct 0.45 ml target(s) located at different target depths (1-2 cm). However, the depth recovery was limited as the actual target depth increased, since only reflectance measurements were acquired. Extensive tomography studies are currently carried out to determine the resolution and performance limits of the imager on flat and curved phantoms.