You can cut the dash but if it's in real good condition you might get another to cut up.
Most indash CD players are of a standard size (DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm) and the steel sleeve from any manufacturer can be used as a template to cut out a panel however you must use the steel sleeve or cage that is correct for the particular radio you have. These cages have tabs that sometimes self engage like on older Alpine brand models or they have to be bent into position using a flat bladed screwdriver. Once the cage is installed the radio slides into it and then tabs or latches lock the radio to the sleeve. This is the point where most people stop on the installation of the radio but you need to use the threaded hole in the back panel of the radio chassis to secure a backbrace to. By adding this brace less strain is put on the front panel that the radio is mounted to and also allows the radio to track a CD better on rought roads.
Another mounting option is underdash using the threaded holes on the side of the radio to secure L brackets to and in this case the sleeve or cage would not be used.
I've done thousands of radio installations over the years and now with the available electronics out there radio's that come with wireless remotes you can have the chassis of the radio mounted under the seat, in a glove box, or in the trunk and the hand held remote control signal can now be repeated to the remotely mounted radio and control things like volume up and down, track up and down, radio station up and down, and so forth. In an install I'm doing on a 33 Dodge we bought the wired remote that is normally used in boat installations to where we can have a small overhead display to see what is being displayed on the radio's faceplate and also be able to adjust things in the system. The only thing we have to do is echange discs out of the unit or changer mounted behind the seat.