A new two-step estimation and imaging method is developed for a two-layer breast tissue structure consisting of a breast tissue layer and a chest wall underneath. First, a smaller probe with shorter distance source-detector pairs was used to collect the reflected light mainly from the breast tissue layer. Then, a larger probe with source-detector pairs and a centrally located ultrasound transducer was used to collect reflected light from the two-layer tissue structure. The data collected from the smaller probe were used to estimate breast tissue optical properties. With more accurate estimation of the average breast tissue properties, the second layer properties can be assessed from data obtained from the larger probe. Using this approach, the unknown variables have been reduced from four to two and the estimated bulk tissue optical properties are more accurate and robust. In addition, a two-step reconstruction using a genetic algorithm and conjugate gradient method is implemented to simultaneously reconstruct the absorption and reduced scattering maps of targets inside a two-layer tissue structure. Simulations and phantom experiments have been performed to validate the new reconstruction method, and a clinical example is given to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.