The Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging offers prognostic stratification and treatment allocation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We conducted this retrospective study to assess the efficacy of different treatment options for patients with initial HCC diagnosis. Survival rate and median survival times associated with different treatment options in each stage of BCLC classification were compared using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. A total of 3892 patients were enrolled. Overall survival rates were 46.2% at 1 year and 16.6% at 5 years. The median survival times decreased from 57.7 months in very early stage to 1.6 months in terminal stage. Surgical resection offered the best survival benefit for patients in very early, early and even intermediate stages. Transarterial embolisation and conformal radiotherapy offered survival benefits for selected patients in advanced and terminal stages. In conclusion, following the treatment schedules allocated by BCLC staging had survival benefits for HCC patients.