With an incidence of 523 000 new cases a year hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) belong to the most frequent cancer entities worldwide. Diagnostic and therapeutic procederes have been improved during the last years. Surveillance of patients with high risk factors leads to an early diagnosis. Up to now the detection of early HCCs represents the best prerequisite for any curative therapy. The present synopsis summarises the current guidelines of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) with a special focus on screening and surveillance of risk groups.