Health status indexes, such as the EuroQol, consist of a health state classification system and a set of utility weights. Indexes measure quality of life using a 0-1 utility score. Utilities for outcomes in prostate cancer (PC) are of unique importance, but generic indexes do not represent PC outcomes (e.g., sexual, urinary, bowel dysfunction) well, and may not capture their full impact. As a step toward improved utility measurement, we constructed a classification system for PC. We generated items for each of six health domains and rated their importance using interviews with 10 clinical experts and 80 patients. Key concepts were selected for each domain using item importance weightings, and a set of predetermined criteria. Text was developed to express levels of severity within each domain. Experts and two additional groups of patients (n = 40, n = 96) evaluated textual clarity and endorsed the content validity of the instrument. The final system consists of 10 domains with 4-6 levels each. The content validity of the system was endorsed by patients and experts. In conjunction with a set of utility weights, it may be used to develop a health status index, to improve utility measurement in patients, and to serve as a short psychometric (nonutility) instrument.