We present a method for the noninvasive determination of the size, position, and optical properties of tumors in the human breast. The tumor is first detected by photothermal imaging. It is then sized, located, and optically characterized using designed digital image processing and edge-detection pattern recognition. The method assumes that the tumor is spherical and inhomogeneous and embedded in an otherwise homogeneous tissue. Heat energy is deposited in the tissue by absorption of near-infrared (NIR) Nd:YAG laser radiation, and its subsequent conversion to heat via vibrational relaxation causes a rise in temperature of the tissue. The tumor absorbs and scatters NIR light more strongly than the surrounding healthy tissue. Heat will diffuse through the tissue, causing a rise in temperature of the surrounding tissue. Differentiation between normal and cancerous tissues is determined using IR thermal imaging. Results are presented on a 55-year-old patient with a papillary breast cancer. We found that these results provide the clinician with more detailed information about breast lesions detected by photothermal imaging and thereby enhance its potential for specificity.