Published online Nov 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i42.12003
Peer-review started: July 4, 2015
First decision: July 20, 2015
Revised: August 3, 2015
Accepted: September 30, 2015
Article in press: September 30, 2015
Published online: November 14, 2015
Core tip: Hepatocellular carcinoma is an increasing health problem, representing the second cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The major risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is cirrhosis. Early diagnosis is crucial for curative treatments. As a consequence, patients at risk of developing HCC should undergo surveillance programs in order to detect HCC in the initial stage. Surgical resection, radiofrequency ablation and liver transplantation are considered the cornerstones of curative therapy, while for patients with more advanced HCC recommended options include sorafenib and trans-arterial chemo-embolization.