Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy worldwide, and its incidence is increasing in the United States and elsewhere. The prognosis of HCC patients depends not only on tumour stage but also on the background liver function reservoir. Current options for the treatment of HCC are surgical resection, liver transplantation, transcatheter arterial embolization, chemotherapy, and percutaneous ablation therapy. The choice of optimal treatment for individual patients, especially those at an earlier cancer stage, is sometimes controversial. Short-term prognosis of HCC patients has been much improved recently due to advances in early diagnosis and treatment, although long-term prognosis is as yet far from satisfactory as indicated by the overall survival at 10 years after apparently curative treatment of only 22-35%. Prevention of HCC recurrence, or tertiary prevention, is one of the most challenging tasks in current hepatology.