Sheffield Crown Court was told how in the early hours of April 1 last year, Nathan Fearn and Luke White broke into the house of a Doncaster couple known to the pair.
Fearn, 21, of Tennyson Road, Bentley and White, 22, of Daw Lane, Bentley gained access to the property by smashing through the back door, which police described as being nearly destroyed during the raid.
The owners of the property were asleep in bed when the pair broke in. The court heard how the male occupant, who is currently battling cancer, was alerted to break-in by the reflection of torch lights.
But due to being too unwell to be able to venture downstairs, the cancer patient had to send his wife downstairs to check and see if the property had been broken into as he suspected.
Recorder David Preston condemned the two men for this in particular, and asked them to consider how they would feel if one of their loved ones had been in a similar situation.
He said: "He couldn't get out of bed.
"Imagine how terrifying that must have been - to know there were intruders in your house and to know that you couldn't do anything about it."
When the female occupant got downstairs she discovered the house had been burgled, and that their television and her car had been stolen.
The court was told by prosecutor Gordon Stables that 'evidence connected the pair' to the offence.
After they had been arrested the pair attempted to contact the victims to express their remorse for their actions.
However, despite this both White and Fearn failed to admit to the burglary until the last possible moment - on the day of trial earlier this year.
The pair both pleaded guilty to one count of burglary from a dwelling and to another of theft of a motor vehicle.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that the pair both had jobs at the time of the offence, and that neither suffered from an addiction to drink or drugs.
Recorder Preston said: "Burglary is serious, not just because of the damage or loss to property, but because as you know people are entitled to feel safe in their own homes.
"People are entitled to feel like once they close the door they are secure, and don't have to fear that the likes of you are going to come in to their homes."
White was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his offending as well as a breach of his bail conditions.
The 21-year-old's previous criminal convictions for a number of offences, including the fact he was the subject of a community order at the time of the offence, was seen as an aggravating factor and he was given a higher sentence as a result.
Fearn received a 18 month sentence for his role in the burglary and theft of the couple's vehicle.