Microwave-induced thermoacoustic (TA) imaging combines the advantages of high imaging contrast due to electromagnetic absorption and high resolution of the ultrasound technology, and it is a potential alternative imaging technique for biomedical applications, particularly for breast tumor detection. The traditional TA system uses circular-scanning (CS) to obtain complete information to reconstruct a two-dimensional image, however, it needs a large operating space for rotation of the transducers and bulk of coupling medium limiting its medical applications. The linear-scanning (LS) system can overcome these problems partially but usually lose some information and cause image distortion. In this paper, in order to overcome above limitations, a TA imaging system with Sample-Cling-Scanning (SCS) model based on a flexible multi-element transducer is presented. It combines the advantages of both CS and LS modes, and overcome their limitations. Meanwhile, an adaptive back projection algorithm is presented to implement this scanning model. The experimental results show that the proposed system combines advantages including shape adaptation, information integrity, and efficient transmission. These advantages make it a preferred system for TA applications, especially in breast tumor detection.