Background: The elevated anxiety and depression experienced by prostate cancer (PCa) patients can impair their decision-making as well as decrease their psychological well-being and weaken relationships with partner and family. Although standardised assessment models exist for identifying the symptoms of anxiety or depression, relatively little attention has been given to identifying the causal antecedents that PCa patients encounter and that may lead to anxiety or depression, nor their own attempts to cope with those antecedents. This study investigated the coping strategies used by a sample of PCa patients in response to the specific stressors and lifestyle changes that arose from their disease. Methods: A total of 98 PCa patients responded to a survey about the kinds of disease-induced stressors they had encountered and the nature and success of any coping strategies they had used. Results: The most common coping strategies reported were acceptance, exercise or activity, medication, having a positive attitude and seeking support from their wives or families. All strategies were classified as "active" responses to PCa-based stressors. Conclusion: PCa patient anxiety and depression may be instigated by a range of stressors and patients' coping responses are also variable, with differing levels of success. From these data, a standardised inventory for assessing PCa patients' experiences of their illness and how they cope with those experiences is being developed, potentially contributing to the delivery of psychosocial therapies for PCa patients.